mother to mother image
shionogi logo
World Vision logo

Since 2015, Shionogi has worked with World Vision, an international cooperation NGO, to reduce the child and maternal mortality of Kenya.

This project is operated with donations from Shionogi and employees (Shionogi Social Contribution Support Association “Socie).

As COVID-19’s far-reaching influence continues to impact the international community, access to healthcare has become increasing difficult in developing countries.

The maternal mortality rate in the Republic of Kenya is 68 times higher than in Japan,* and the mortality rate for children under five is 22 times higher than that in Japan,* an indication of the persistent and significant challenges standing in the way of achieving SDGs Target 3, requiring concrete action to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

To build a sustainable society, it is necessary to create a favorable environment for the next generation of children to grow healthy.

The Mother to Mother SHIONOGI Project aims to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by protecting mothers and children from preventable mortality and strengthening healthcare services systems.


* The State of the World's Children 2021 On My Mind: Promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health.(UNICEF)

Project concept

From Japan to Africa, connectiong mothers through health [Mother to Mother SHIONOGI Project]

Origin of “Mother to Mother”

The Mother to Mother SHIONOGI Project began with the thought of a Shionogi employee who took a leave of absence from the company and was assigned to Kenya in 2009 as a member of the AIDS countermeasures program of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

mother to mother image

“I would like to help Kenyan mothers who are sincere about receiving AIDS treatment for the sake of their children.”

In Kenya, there were people who went to the hospital to continue to receive proper treatment for AIDS.
Many of them were women with children.
They have to protect their children and families.
To this end, they have to deal with their own health problems.
Mothers who were sincere about receiving treatment were always in front of me.


“I found that medicine that was simply provided was not reaching the people who needed it.”

When I was in Japan, I thought that if we provided medicine free of charge, it would be delivered to people who needed it and help save their lives.
However, when I actually went to Africa, I found that medicine that was simply provided was not reaching the people who needed it.
I returned to Japan feeling discouraged.
Feeling distressed that I couldn’t do anything about it at the time, I kept thinking about a solution to the problem. I finally arrived at the idea that I would take advantage of the power of Shionogi, a pharmaceutical company that has been striving infectious diseases for a long time. 

Center: Ai Tsuchida
Center: Ai Tsuchida

The number of people who sympathize with my idea has increased in Shionogi. Then, we launch a maternal and child health support project in partnership with the international NGO World Vision.

Challenges in sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa still sees 78 under-5 mortality per 1,000 live births and 533 maternal mortality per 100,000 live births, with a huge difference from the relevant targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (“less than 25” and “at least as low as 70,” respectively*2).

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than half of worldwide maternal and under-5 mortality.
Maternal mortality*1.  Sub-Saharan Africa: 68%. Under-5 deaths*1. Sub-Saharan Africa: 54%.
The prime causes of under-5 mortality in sub-Saharan Africa are birth-related events and infectious diseases. Newborn mortality account for 47% of under-5 mortality.
Causes of under-5 mortality*3. Infectious diseases: 42%. Birth-related events: 31%. Other
  1. ※1
    unicef THE STATE OF WORLD’S CHILDREN 2019 Children, food and nutrition
  2. ※2
    Targets 3.1 and 3.2 in the SDGs
  3. ※3
    Child Mortality Report 2019

It is necessary to improve the environment for pregnancy and childbirth and to tackle the problem of infectious diseases in children

In sub-Saharan Africa, 47% of under-5 mortality occur less than 28 days after birth, and more than a third of them occur on the day of birth. Most of those mortality are thought to have been preventable.

« Issues affecting maternal and child health in Kenya »

Despite its huge land area, Kenya has only a very small number of medical facilities. Many local people have only limited access to medical services due to a shortage of medical professionals, a lack of knowledge about health and nutrition, and gender inequality.
They also face limited access to safe and clean water and resulting problems, including a high prevalence of diarrhea.


To solve these issues, we have been implementing two maternal and child health support projects in Narok and Kilifi Counties in Kenya. For details, visit the web pages on the two respective projects.

Family members taking a sick child to the dispensary
Family members taking a sick child to the dispensary

Outline of two maternal and child health support projects

This project supports the “health and nutrition” sector in areas where World Vision has been engaged in long-term local development assistance programs. 
  First Term Project Second Term Project
Location Ilaramatak, Osupuko Division, Narok County Bamba and Jaribuni, Ganze Sub-County, Kilifi County
Term April 2015 to September 2020 (Five years)
October 2020 to July 2021 (Extended due to COVID-19)
April 2020 to March 2023 (three years)
In collaboration with Panasonic Holdings Corporation
No. of target facilities 1 3
No. of beneficiaries 14,612 in total 77,506 in total
Direct beneficiaries: 5,947
Indirect beneficiaries: 8,665
Direct beneficiaries: 28,196
Indirect beneficiaries: 49,310
Budget 106.15 million yen 180 million yen
Republic of Kenya. Map.

Project vision and three pillars of activities 


To develop sustainable community for the well-being of mothers and children.


Project Goal

Pregnant and lactating women and children under 5 years of age have improved maternal and child health


Three pillars of activities

This project aims not only to improve the environment for pregnancy and childbirth but also to enable local people to manage their own health by educating the local communities, helping local health professionals in capacity development, improving the water hygiene environment, and conducting advocacy activities focusing on government.


Improve access to maternal and child health services for expectant and breastfeeding mothers and children under five

  • Build health facilities
  • Strengthen the capacity of health professionals
  • Provide mobile clinic services

Build community-based systems for improving people’s nutritional and water hygiene habits

  • Build water supply facilities
  • Provide nutrition and hygiene education
  • Implement nutrition programs
  • Teaching appropriate hygiene knowledge and practices in schools and communities.

Enhance health system* management

  • Promote the participation of local residents in addressing health service issues
  • Facilitate the partnership between the communities and government officials
  • Enhance monitoring and assessment
  • Health professionals provide continuous awareness-raising education to the community
  • Local residents access medical services and understand the significance of health services
  • Good nutritional and water hygiene behaviors have become habits for local people
  • Local residents take the initiative in improving health services
  • The government and its partners collaborate to monitor the activities

Project Goal

Pregnant and lactating women and children under 5 years of age have improved maternal and child health

Project Goal

Establishment of sustainable community health systems

Project Vision

To develop sustainable community for the well-being of mothers and children

  • Sufficient and efficient health professionals; medical supplies; financial resources for health services; leadership and governance; and provision of health services and a health management information system
    (WHO’s Framework for Action, Geneva, 2007)
Mother to Mother ロゴマーク