MSH Wins County Innovation Challenge in Kenya

MSH Kenya team receives the CICF Award. From left to right: Zoe Hensby (DFID), Spencer Ochieng (MSH Kenya Country Representative), Melissa Wanda Kirowo (FCI Program of MSH), Jamilla Wamwiri (Kenya Progressive Nurses Association), and Boniface Njenga (MSH Country operations Director)

The County Innovation Challenge Fund (CICF) is a five-year program funded by UKAid and implemented by an array of partners to support innovative interventions, products, processes, services, technologies and ideas that reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Kenya.

On September 15, MSH and four other organizations that won this year’s competition participated in an award ceremony officiated by Zoe Hensby, Head of Human and Social Development, DFID, in Nairobi. These organizations included the Centre for Public Health and Development, African Population and Health and Research Centre, Lexlink Consulting, and Afya Research Africa. They will be implementing the winning innovative interventions in four of the CICF’s priority counties: Turkana, Garissa, Nairobi, and Kakamega.

With CICF’s support, MSH will be implementing the Lea Mimba (“Take care of your pregnancy,” in Swahili) project, an innovative patient-centered group antenatal care (ANC) model in Kakamega County that is based on our experience with “pregnancy clubs” in Uganda. The model incorporates elements of patient-centered design, multi-stakeholder dialogue, and self-determination, focusing in particular on adolescent and young women.

Our work in Kenya is just kicking off, but we will be working closely with the County health management team and the Kenya Progressive Nurses Association to adapt and implement the model in six health facilities which serve vulnerable populations in Kakamega County. MSH and partners will develop an iterative, collaborative, and acceptable model for ANC service uptake and delivery. This is a shift from one-on-one counseling to a group approach to provide women with psychosocial and other support during pregnancy. Lea Mimba will also include a community level component and introduce system changes at facility level through mentorship and supervision of healthcare workers.