MCI offers hearty congratulations and thanks to the two Masters in Development Practice students, Paloma Ruiz Gonzalez and Marianna Costa Checa, who used their MDP practicum this past summer to assist MCI in mapping and surveying all health facilities in the Millennium City of Kisumu, Kenya, at the request of the city government and local health officials.
Paloma and Mariana concluded their practicum by presenting their findings at a symposium on October 5. The presentation was well received, and their research will now contribute to a growing body of research carried out by the Millennium Cities Initiative in Kisumu.
Paloma and Mariana succeeded in their aim of compiling a database of all health facilities in the Kisumu area, including details on each facility’s resources and location. To collect all of this data, Paloma and Mariana spent the summer traveling all around Kisumu by motorbike, matatu and on foot. With the support and direction of locals, Paloma and Mariana were able to locate 83 facilities, both documented and undocumented. Using cellular technology on android phones, and guided in their work by MCI’s Associate Director for Research, Dr. Moumie Maoulidi, and MCI’s Public Health Specialist for Kisumu, Ms. Beldina Opiyo-Omolo, the two researchers took pictures, noted geographic coordinates and answered survey questions online – ultimately producing maps and a master database of information.
Among their many findings, the two researches were able to show that only 20 percent of the city’s 83 health facilities have emergency obstetrics care. This is a deficit the Municipal Health Office and City Council may well wish to address, as they race to reduce elevated maternal and newborn mortality levels in time to meet the Millennium Development Goals in health by 2015.
Before departing from Kisumu, Paloma and Mariana were able to share their findings with the District Health Records Information Office, as well as with each of the participating health facilities. With MCI’s upcoming Stakeholder Consultation, as well as yearly development plans being drafted at this time, the research will hopefully help to contribute to not only better coordinated health services, but also to more strategic budget allocations among the facilities that can speed progress toward accomplishing MDGs 4, 5 and 6.
MCI is grateful to Mariana and Paloma and to the Masters in Development Practice program at the School of International and Public Affairs for the ability to work with two such able researchers. We look forward to more such collaborations, over the months and years to come!