Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah
The fight against maternal deaths which have been on the rise in the last few years, got a major boost yesterday after First Lady Margaret Kenyatta opened a state-of-the-art maternity facility in Nakuru.
Named Margaret Kenyatta Mother Baby Wing, the new facility has a 250-bed capacity and stands majestically inside Nakuru Level 5 Hospital formerly, the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital.
Nakuru Health Executive Zakayo Gichuki said the project was timely because the old facility had been overstretched with patients coming from as far as Laikipia, Samburu and Narok counties.
He said the new facility is expected to serve eight counties, including Baringo, Kericho and parts of Kiambu, Nyandarua and Kajiado counties. It is the second biggest such facility in Kenya after Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi.
“The wing is a stand alone facility because it has four modern theatres with shade-less lamps, an intensive care unit, a pharmacy, laboratory, an imaging centre, antenatal and postnatal clinics,” Medical Superintendent Joseph Mburu said.
According to records at Nakuru Level 5 Hospital, about 70 mothers lost their lives between January and September alone.
Mrs Kenyatta, who launched Beyond Zero Campaign in 2014, has been on the forefront on maternal health she reiterated that no mother should lose life while bringing forth another life.
“This facility will offer thousands of women a choice of delivering their babies in a safe environment where children will receive care and promise of wellness,” she said, adding that the hospital will enhance health services in this region by providing treatment for a wide range of services.
Some of the services which will be offered include prenatal and postnatal clinics, immunisation and family planning. Expectant mothers with birth complications will also get specialised treatment.
The facility, which was started during former governor Kinuthia Mbugua’s administration, was funded by the National government to a tune of Sh500 million.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui assured locals that his government is going to give other local hospitals a facelift and ensure that patients get professional services.
“What makes a hospital good is not just the infrastructure but services offered,” he said.
The health department in Nakuru got the lion’s share of Governor Kinyanjui’s Sh15 billion 2018/19 budget which translates to 36 per cent of the whole budget.