Kisumu, Kenya – A day after Barack Obama was elected 44th president of the United States, Mourine Oriko gave birth to her second child in Marie Stopes Kenya’s Nursing Home in Kisumu, near the village where the president-elect’s father was born and where his paternal grandmother still lives.
To honor Obama’s historic election, Oriko and her husband, Zaddock Otieno, named their newborn daughter after the president-elect’s wife, Michelle Obama.
Baby Michelle’s birth in the clean, safe conditions of Marie Stopes’ health facility was strikingly different than the arrival two years earlier of the couple’s first child, who was born at home in the Manyatta slum area of Kisumu because the parents could not afford the high fees charged by a local hospital.
Baby Michelle’s birth under the careful watch of qualified Marie Stopes doctors and nurses was made possible by a unique Output-Based Aid (OBA) programme for reproductive health sponsored by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Through this OBA programme, Baby Michelle’s parents received vouchers entitling them to a free delivery at the Marie Stopes Nursing Home, one of several quality health facilities in the area designated to provide such services under the programme. When the service was completed, all costs were reimbursed to Marie Stopes Kenya by the programme’s management agency.
This voucher scheme represents a demand-side approach to financing health care that subsidizes low-income health care clients directly, while disbursing funding only after services are actually delivered. The client is free to choose any designated service provider -- public, private or a non-governmental organization (NGO) -- from a list of approved health facilities.
In 2007, Marie Stopes Kenya provided more than 17,000 safe deliveries in Kisumu via the OBA voucher programme. This accounted for 95% of all safe deliveries by Marie Stopes in the Kisumu district that year.
Globally, Marie Stopes International is at the forefront of output-based approaches to healthcare delivery. The Kenya OBA programme, and a similar programme in Uganda, will be dramatically expanded in the coming year with increased support from KfW. In addition, Marie Stopes Internationational uses output-based sub-contracts with its affiliates in 23 countries to deliver approximately one million units of long-term and permanent contraceptive methods for family planning annually. Find out more about Marie Stopes Kenya's work