Between January and May in 2012, The Road Less Travelled (TRLT) project undertook a maternal and child health (MCH) baseline survey among Maasai and Samburu nomadic pastoralist communities in Laikipia and Samburu, Kenya.
The purpose of this baseline assessment was to understand the existing context and situation prior to the implementation of TRLT project initiatives in Kenya, and to identify the current status of key thematic areas that impact on MCH outcomes among nomadic pastoralists.
A broad holistic strengths-based approach was adopted during the design of the project to include a focus on the key determinants of health. The thematic areas captured in the baseline study reflect this focus, and include:
- Knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to core MCH indicators;
- Family planning
- Disease and immunisation;
- Access to health services;
- Access to literacy and education;
- Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and
A quantitative questionnaire was administered to 800 pastoralist households across Laikipia and Samburu. The questionnaire was administered to a man and a woman from each of the participating households. Qualitative data was also captured via a series of focus group discussions with men, women and traditional birth attendants.
The findings allow for a deeper understanding of the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding MCH and other issues impacting on health in these communities. This data will be used to inform The Road Less Travelled’s project strategy and set baseline evaluation indicators by which impact and change in the communities will be measured over time.