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Maternity Ward - KenyaOn a warm afternoon in Mithini, Kenya, a man arrived at the clinic, and stood in line behind the women seeking prenatal care. When it was his turn, the man asked the nurse for misoprostol tablets. His wife was in labor nearly 15 miles away, and he wanted to ensure she had tablets to prevent the bleeding that takes the lives of so many mothers in his country.  

VSI is engaging entire communities in our efforts to increase women’s chances of surviving pregnancy and childbirth, especially those who are closest to women in an emergency.

  • Training midwives, nurses, doctors and pharmacists to use misoprostol to prevent postpartum hemorrhage and as a component of postabortion care.
  • Integrating misoprostol into government policies, including the registration of misoprostol for management of PPH and for treatment of incomplete abortion and miscarriage in July 2009; and in the essential medicines list and the national clinical guidelines for these uses.
  • Reaching rural women with misoprostol: VSI introduced misoprostol for prevention of PPH in two districts with partners at the Kenya Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MOPHS), Department of Reproductive Health and the Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society, educating communities on the role of misoprostol in safer childbirth and increasing mothers’ protection against this leading cause of maternal death. The results of the successful pilot project are available here.
  • Assessing availability and use of commodities to diagnose and manage preeclampsia and eclampsia: developing recommendations to clarify policies and guidelines, creating job aids, improving quality of antenatal care, and increasing community education

VSI remains committed to increasing access to simple solutions for women’s health in Kenya.


By the Numbers


Estimated Total Population

39 M

Lifetime Risk of Maternal Death

1 woman in 38

Maternal Mortality Ratio

530 per 100,000 live-births

Total Fertility Rate


Births Attended by Skilled Health Provider


Unmet Need for Family Planning


Source: PRB, 2011 and WHO, 2010

Registered Misoprostol Product(s): Isovent®, Misoclear®, Kontrac®

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