PATH Kenya contracted the African Institute for Health and Development (AIHD) to implement the advocacy and mobilisation component of the project, Integrated Mother and Baby Friendly Initiative Plus (MBFI+) targeting vulnerable neonates in Kenya. The overarching goal of the project was to contribute to a reduction in maternal and newborn mortality. In Kenya, the project focused on establishing a Human Milk Bank (HMB) in Pumwani Maternity Hospital (PMH).

The advocacy and mobilisation component was based in Pumwani health facility and the community around it. The component focused on promoting uptake of HMB by healthcare workers in Pumwani maternity Hospital and community health volunteers (CHVs) and the community in Kamukunji sub county.

Objectives

The advocacy and mobilizing component is aimed at creating awareness on the significance of HMB and mobilizing potential donors in Pumwani area to voluntarily donate breast milk to the HMB at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, Nairobi.  The specific objectives of the component included:

  1. To create awareness on human milk banking (HMB) among healthcare providers (medical and non- medical staff) and community members;
  2. To strengthen capacity on HMB of healthcare workers medical and non-medical staff in Pumwani health facility;
  3. To sensitize gestating and lactating mothers on the uptake of HMB in Pumwani health facility; and
  4. To engage external stakeholders at the county level on HMB.

 

Activities:

  1. The AIHD team held separate project information sharing meetings with healthcare workers in Pumwani health facility and CHVs in Kamukunji sub County.
  2. The project team held a workshop with local leaders in Kamukunji sub-county to sensitize them on HMB.
  3. The team held public barazas with community members in Kamukunji sub County to sensitize them on HMB.
  4. Distribution of information, education and communication (E.C) materials on HMB.
  5. The AIHD team supported continuous medical education (CMEs) focusing on HMB in Pumwani health facility.
  6. The team conducted health talks and sensitization meetings with gestating and lactating mothers at Pumwani health facility.
  7. The AIHD team attended and participated in project-related meetings/forums organized by partners (PATH and APHRC) on HMB.
  8. The AIHD project team strengthened support groups for lactating mothers to be used as champions for change to demystify myths and misconceptions on HMB.

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2.2 Thematic Areas for Advocacy and Mobilisation

The advocacy and mobilisation engagements were guided by the following themes:

  1. Background information on HMB;
  2. The importance of breast milk and donated human milk alternative for vulnerable neonates;
  3. Safety and quality assurance and control measures of the donor human milk (DHM)(screening, handling, storage, pasteurization and allocation);
  4. Lactation support, breast milk expression, early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, maternal nutrition and hand hygiene; and
  5. Debunking the myths and misconceptions of donor human milk.

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Achievements

  1. 1.A total of one hundred and thirty-eight (138) PMH staff both medical and non-medical were sensitized on HMB in a series of meetings at PMH and nearby hotels (Grand Royal and Nomad Place Hotel). Moreover, a total of
  2. 2.Two thousand, three hundred and twenty-eight (2328) community members from Eastleigh North, Eastleigh South, Muthurwa/ ShauriMoyo and Pumwani wards were sensitized on HMB project.
  3. 3.The AIHD project team supported a total of four (4) CMEs to sensitize PMH staff. Through these CMEs, eighty-three (83) PMH staff were sensitized on HMB.
  4. 4.Two sensitization meetings were held with support groups for lactating mothers. A total of one hundred and twenty-five (125) mothers were sensitized.
  5. 5.The AIHD project team sensitized a total of four hundred and twenty-one (421) mothers, gestating and lactating, through a series of meetings in PMH and Pumwani catchment area.
  6. Two meetings were conducted with community leaders (opinion leaders, religious leaders, youth leaders and heads of CHVs). A total of sixty-two (62) leaders were sensitized in Kamukunji, Starehe and Makadara sub Counties.
  7. 7.The AIHD project team attended a total of sixteen (16) meetings organized by partners on HMB.
  8. 8.Distribution of HMB I.E.C materials was done in meetings held with local leaders, mothers, CHVs and community members in Pumwani catchment area and PMH staff.