Population Services Kenya represented by the CEO, Dr. Margaret Njenga, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jacaranda Health’s Co-Executive Director, Cynthia Kahumbura. The MOU was aimed at providing a partnership and cooperation framework between the two organizations, fostering collaboration aimed at improving Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) outcomes in Kenya. The signing of the MOU rubber stamped not just PS Kenya’s vision to be the leader in delivering sustainable health impact, but more so its mission to accelerate achievement of positive health outcomes for Kenyans through partnerships, technology and health expertise.

PS Kenya drives impact through five key models namely:

  1. Health Systems Strengthening: Through use of a human-centered design model in program design to better understand the underlying issues preventing a target group from adopting healthy behaviors and implementing targeted interventions to influence positive behavior change.
  2. Social and Behavioral Change: PS Kenya uses an evidence-based social behavior change approach that allows for a deeper understanding of the underlying issues preventing a target group from adopting healthy behaviors.
  3. Medical Detailing: Through provider behavior change, PS Kenya enhances the capacity of pharmacy providers to offer the right information, counselling and appropriate referrals.
  4. Social Marketing: PS Kenya develops and markets quality and affordable health products and services to reduce barriers to access and leverage the private sector distribution chain to reach those in need.
  5. Service Delivery: PS Kenya works with private and public health facilities to strengthen the quality of care by building the capacity of HCWs to deliver reliable and high-quality services.

On the other hand, Jacaranda Health seeks to create solutions that drive impact in three areas namely:

  1. Health Seeking: A third of maternal deaths in Kenya are due to delays in care seeking. Jacaranda Health’s ‘PROMPTS’ platform empowers mothers with information to make informed decisions during and after pregnancy, and seek the right care at the right time and place. Mothers are supported to take up key services linked with better outcomes, such as pre and postnatal care check-ups, infant immunization appointments, and family planning services. Feedback from PROMPTS users is also shared with facilities and governments to make maternal health services more responsive to mothers’ needs and experiences.
  • Quality of Care: Over half of Kenya’s maternal deaths are caused by gaps in the quality of intrapartum care, and providers failing to act appropriately during emergencies. Jacaranda Health’s MENTORS program builds the capacity of frontline government nurses and midwives to deliver timely, respectful emergency care through continuous, simulation-based training that takes place in facilities. Data on provider performance is shared with the facility and health system managers, helping them track and address skills and knowledge gaps on a real-time basis.
  • Sustainability of Services: Jacaranda Health’s vision is for their government partners to lead and sustainably finance cost-effective innovations in the public health system. This is achieved by helping them better budget for high impact solutions that improve the quality of maternal health solutions, while generating data that helps them spend limited resources smarter.

Through the MOU, the two organizations committed to cooperate in areas of mutual concern to enhance the effectiveness of their program implementation efforts. The expected outcome of the cooperation is increased access to and utilization of quality family planning, maternal, and neonatal health services, which is envisioned to ultimately lead to a reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality in Kenya.

The MOU is also set to inform the exploration of opportunities to jointly co-create and scale up innovative solutions within existing programs within the two organizations. This will include joint exploration of opportunities for implementation research, documentation and dissemination of best practices for adoption. Key focus areas that will encompass the collaborative efforts include deployment of the Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (EmONC) Mentorship in agreed counties to improve the skills of nurse midwives in Basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (B/EmONC). Additionally, enrollment of mothers into the Promoting Mothers in Pregnancy Through SMS (PROMPTs) platform will also be a major focus, especially in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties. The platform provides support to women throughout their pregnancy journey, during the neonatal period and the first year postpartum. Finally, the two organizations through this partnership will collaboratively host webinars and provide CPD-accredited courses on key areas such as communication skills, ethics, leadership/management etc., all within the focus area of Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH).

To mutually leverage each other’s strengths, this strategic partnership also provides opportunities for development of joint proposals on areas of mutual interest, with the goal of achieving greater impact and positive health outcomes for Kenyans. Other highlighted areas in the partnership include partnering on other developmental programs and events as well as brand visibility.

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