According to World Bank, Kenya’s maternal mortality rate in 2014 was 525 deaths for every 100,000 births. This statistics places Kenya among the most dangerous places in the globe for a woman to give birth.
Whilst there are several other challenges that contribute to high maternal mortality in Kenya, tough roads and long distances to health centers play a massive role in these analysis.
Particularly the road on the slopes of Mount Elgon which is steep and features a rocky and stony terrain. In this area, trucks and tractors have to drive maize and vegetables down the mountain to sell them in the town of Chwele and other parts of Kenya’s Western Province.
Due to this challenges, motorcycles which is the predominant mode of transportation in this area have been saving the lives of expectant mothers. Serving as taxis and sometimes even carrying three people all at once, motorcycles have been the major means used in conveying women in labor. Every few minutes one whizzes into the hospital carrying a pregnant passenger.
Despite the fact that motorcycles are alleviating the hardship of accessing the hospitals, the journey isn’t all that rosy. Pregnant women still face the challenge of absorbing the pains that come from gallops as well potholes in the course of their journeys thanks to the rocky and rugged terrain of the area.
Also, the drivers though convey pregnant women even at odd hours including midnight complain that their highest drawback is rainy season as the roads get worst, sometimes making it difficult to get to the health center in time.
For this reason, Buzzkenya is urging the Kenyan government to look into the problems of these roads and do the needful for a better delivery of maternal services.