New maternal and newborn health innovation projects awarded funding

Friday, 15 Sep 2017
  • Award ceremony for the County Innovation Challenge Fund in Nairobi
    Award ceremony for the County Innovation Challenge Fund in Nairobi
  • Management Sciences for Health awardees
    Management Sciences for Health awardees
  • Centre for Public Health and Development awardees
    Centre for Public Health and Development awardees
The County Innovation Challenge Fund (CICF) held an award ceremony in Nairobi for five new organisations that are joining the fund’s portfolio, marking its entry into a third round of innovations.

Speaking at the event, Zoe Hensby from DFID Kenya said “DFID Kenya remains committed to improving maternal and newborn health in Kenya. The CICF is an important component of DFID’s larger maternal and newborn health programme. We wish you all the best of luck.”

The five new projects will be implemented in four of the CICF’s priority counties: Turkana, Garissa, Nairobi and Kakamega. Each project is set to answer an important question and catalyse change, ultimately influencing policy and practice to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes:

  1. Centre for Public Health and Development will be improving access to surgical services in hard to reach communities in Turkana, through the use of universal anaesthetic machines at solar powered health facilities, digitisation of the WHO surgical safety checklist, and training of nurse anaesthetists to address health workforce gaps.  
  2. African Population and Health and Research Centre will test a package of interventions in Garissa county designed to address sociocultural barriers. The project is situated within the strong traditional institutions of Somali culture, and will leverage the clan system and customary law to increase demand for maternity services, and the provision of culturally sensitive and acceptable delivery services. 
  3. Lexlink Consulting will work in partnership with the Nairobi county government to expand and digitise the existing paper-based tools used by managers for supportive supervision at the health facility level. This approach will improve the quality and use of this important data for decision making, and enhance the accountability of management processes.
  4. Management Sciences for Health will work in partnership with young women in Kakamega county to co-design a new, group approach to the delivery of antenatal care. A group approach to this routine service is expected to address gaps in the uptake and completion of comprehensive antenatal care.
  5. Afya Research Africa will create a digital connection between the existing array of health providers in Turkana. This system will enable the unique identification of patients who move from one facility to the next in this pastoralist setting, improving quality of care and reducing loss to follow-up.

The five grantees now join the CICF’s larger portfolio, which invests in innovative solutions to address priority bottlenecks in maternal and newborn health.

Congratulating the five new members of the CICF, the Fund’s Team Leader Nicole Sijenyi Fulton said: "The CICF is not business as usual. In addition to implementing outputs to achieve outcomes, CICF grantees must have a priority question they seek to answer, and stay laser focused in their mission to answer that question. The result is evidence that can be used to take innovations to scale."

The County Innovation Challenge Fund is supported by UKAid from the UK government. The fund invests in innovative interventions, products, processes, services, technologies and ideas that will reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Kenya, and is managed by Options and KPMG.

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