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July 16, 2013 Kenya’s month-old decision to make healthcare free for pregnant women holds the potential to radically improve the health of women and children. From the Thompson Reuters Foundation: Kenya’s maternal mortality rate rose to 488 per 100,000 live births from 414 between 2003 and 2008/9. The country will not meet the Millennium Development Goal of a 75 percent drop in deaths between 1990 and 2015. The number of women giving birth in government health facilities has risen significantly since it introduced free maternity services on June 1. “It’s around a 10 percent [increase in deliveries] around the country,” Shahnaz Sharif, the government’s director of public health and sanitation, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.
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The Daily Impact: Free Maternal Health Care Holds Promise in Kenya