Rose Wangoia is a 28-year-old mother of a 5-month-old child. She is a wife to Paul Mwita who is a Nuru farmer and they are blessed with four kids. James, a Nuru Kenya Healthcare Field Officer, visits her home on a monthly basis to promote adoption and maintenance of key healthy behaviours such as drinking safe water, washing hands with soap at critical times, using a latrine, attending antenatal care clinic and sleeping under LLIN (Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets) through sharing messages that promote health. Rose is grateful for the healthcare home visits which have been very fruitful to her, especially during her last pregnancy. She told James about her pregnancy while he paid her a healthcare home visit. Today, she stands to proudly thank James for his continuous advice that helped her to deliver successfully.

Rose Paul at her home with her baby and Nuru Kenya Healthcare staffDuring her pregnancy, Rose managed to attend five antenatal clinics at Isibania sub-county hospital. This, she says helped her a great deal as she received vaccination to prevent tetanus, LLIN to prevent malaria and iron supplement for anemia. Asked about how seeking antenatal care was beneficial to her, Rose says, “The doctors continuously monitored my health condition and this was a unique opportunity to get information on benefits of delivering in a health facility, best practices of child rearing, including immediate and exclusive breast feeding and child immunization.”

Rose managed to deliver her baby John successfully at Isibania sub-district hospital despite having undergone a difficult labour and losing a lot of blood in the process. Her successful delivery can be attributed to her prompt attendance by skilled medical personnel. “If I had chosen to deliver at home, things might have been worse and I might have encountered a more difficult labour and lost my baby or my life,” said Rose thoughtfully.

Rose continued to exclusively breastfeed her child ever since he was born and is determined to adhere to exclusive breastfeeding until the baby is six months old. She also follows the immunization schedule as advised by the Field Officer and she is determined to ensure that her son is fully immunized.

Through her Field Officer, Rose has learned the importance of maintaining personal hygiene to avoid contracting communicable diseases like malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea. She practices good hygiene by using a latrine, washing hands using soap and treating drinking water. She also ensures that her children and all family members sleep under LLINs in order to prevent them from suffering from malaria. She has also learned to address health danger signs immediately so as to prevent complications.

Rose encounters a few challenges much as she endeavors to maintain the healthy behaviors. These include:

  • Constantly being ridiculed by neighbors and friends whenever she advises them to attend antenatal care visits, treat water or deliver in health facilities.
  • Some neighbors and friends trying to lure her into introducing other meals to her baby before six months; however, she strictly managed to adhere to exclusive breastfeeding.
  • During her delivery, she experienced a difficult labour and lost a lot of blood but the doctors were able to help deliver successfully.

Rose ascertains that Nuru Healthcare transformed her life greatly as she has learned a lot and is looking forward to learning even more. Rose advises all mothers to seek antenatal care whenever they discover that they are expectant so that their health and that of their unborn babies can be continuously monitored. She also urges them to deliver at the facility.

This story is one powerful example of the impact of Nuru Kenya Healthcare and how it works with farmers in remote, rural Kuria West, Kenya to improve maternal and child health by assisting expectant mothers through all stages of pregnancy, providing support to caretakers and new mothers learning to breastfeed and care for their newborn and other children.