Nicola Ballantyne is a volunteer with Friends of Londiani. She travelled to Kenya for the first time in 2005 as part of the Harambee 2005 project. She stayed in Kenya for nine weeks. During this time she met a lot of women’s group, and was taken by the plight of women in Kenya. In 2007 Nicola travelled back to Londiani to complete a thesis on “A situational analysis of birth-preparedness in a rural area in Kenya”. She spent six weeks in Kenya researching the thesis, and further months at home completing the work. The aim of the study was to explore birth-preparedness from the perspectives of both the health service providers and the local women regarding the current maternal and newborn health care and support, and traditional practices in Londiani, with a view to informing future practice.
The objectives were:
- To assess the current status of functioning health care facilities and home birth facilities for the delivery of maternal and newborn health care and support in the Londiani area.
- To explore perceptions, attitudes, cultural beliefs and practices in relation to maternal and newborn health care and support in Londiani.
- To compare the current maternal and newborn health care and support in Londiani with the recommended international protocols and to identify deficits within the delivery of maternal and newborn health care and support in Londiani.
The study took place in the Londiani and Chilchila Division within the Kipkelion District. FOL hope to use the results of this research in pursuing Millennium Development Goal 5 – To Improve Maternal Health. Nicola graduated in November 2007 with a first class honours in her Thesis.