The drought situation in Kenya is worsening every day, with an estimated 4.35 million Kenyans currently in need of food aid, according to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA). The population in the affected areas, some of whom are living in refugee camps, is facing a significant deterioration of already elevated levels of acute food insecurity, which has put lives and livelihoods at risk. The NDMA believes there are at least 134,000 pregnant or lactating women acutely malnourished and in need of treatment.
Sixteen-year-old Maria is among them. Seven months pregnant and living in the camps, Maria had been feeling unwell. She attended the medical camp where news reached her that there was medicine being given out by Reproductive Health Network Kenya, an IPPF Member Association. She had never attended any antenatal clinic before.
“I never knew that a baby can be checked while in the mother’s stomach. The nurse said she could even hear the baby breathing,” she said, smiling. “I am happy if the baby is okay. And I have got some medicine for myself as well.”