Lea Mimba Technical Brief

Many women in low and middle-income countries face gaps in access to high-quality ANC: they often do not receive the recommended services for a healthy pregnancy, experience poor quality of care, and are treated disrespectfully. 

In Kenya, most women attend at least one ANC visit (97%), and 60% of women complete the recommended four or more visits. A higher proportion of adolescent girls do not utilize ANC or skilled care during delivery (only 49% of young people under age 20 received any ANC as compared to 60% between 20-34 years). Kakamega County lags behind the rest of the country on several maternal and neonatal health indicators. One study found that the main barriers for using ANC were negative attitudes of clinic staff, long waiting times, and costs of health services and transportation.

To address these challenges, MSH collaborated with M4ID, a social impact company, to use human-centered design methods to develop this contextualized group ANC model based on women’s and health providers’ needs, preferences, and expectations, while also taking into account national standards and guidelines for maternal and newborn health.

In partnership with the Kakamega County Health Management Team (CHMT) and the Kenya Progressive Nurses Association (KPNA), MSH implemented this model—called Lea Mimba (take care of your pregnancy) pregnancy clubs—in six facilities across Kakamega County between August 2017 and March 2019.