Peri-urban areas — sprawling low-income areas on the outskirts of cities — are the fastest growing population centers in the world as people migrate from rural areas to seek better economic opportunities. In Nairobi alone, over 2/3 of the city lives in low-income peri-urban areas where health conditions are poor and the availability of medical services is limited. Research by the African Population and Health Research Council has suggested a maternal mortality ratio of over 700 per 100,000 births in Nairobi’s slums, significantly higher than the national average.
Urban areas represent a unique challenge for maternal health. Maternity clinics are often dangerous and unlicensed or far too expensive to access, and as a result, 30% of mothers still deliver at home. Those that do go to clinics receive low quality care that contribute to high rates of maternal mortality. Meanwhile, the socio-economic and family landscape is fractured, poor environmental and sanitary conditions are the norm, and the incidence of gender violence, teen pregnancy, and abortion are high.
Jacaranda is filling the need. Our approach is to set up clinics in peri-urban areas that provide high-quality services based on the best available maternal health innovations, at rates that are affordable for the women who live there.