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Pumwani gets more doctors after maternity crisis

By Geoffrey Mosoku

Nairobi, Kenya: More medical personnel have been dispatched to Pumwani Maternity Hospital after the number of patients surged.

Pumwani is the country’s biggest maternity facility. County government of Nairobi and Ministry of Health held discussions, which led to the seconding of various medics.

Thursday, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero confirmed that four doctors and two clinical officers were seconded to the facility early this week by Director of Medical Services Francis Kimani.

The doctors are Norah Adhiambo from Makueni District Hospital, Araka Kerubo from Kisii District Hospital, Maxwell Otieno from Mt Kenya Hospital and Esther Muthoni from Nanyuki District Hospital.

Others are clinical officers John Wanyitu and Bernard Oloo from Mama Lucy Kibaki District Hospital and Mbagathi District Hospital, respectively. Dr Kidero said the hospital normally delivers an average of 80 babies daily, 20 of them by caesarian sections, but the number had shot up this week.

“We do not want to give free maternity services to city residents, but it should be of high quality as they are tax payers,” he said.

The governor regretted that the facility has one nurse serving 20 patients, instead of the universal standards of one nurse per four patients.

“What we need is support to boost personnel. We lack specialised reproductive health delivery equipment such as foetal monitors. There is poor laboratory support,” he added.

Pumwani hospital started operations in 1926 and relies on donations for any new equipment.

Kidero appointed a team led by County Medical Officer of Health Robert Ayisi to fast-track implementation of free maternal healthcare service delivery that will costs close to Sh1 billion.


Meanwhile, the number of expectant woman going to deliver at Embu Provincial General Hospital has increased by 20 percent.

Medical superintendent Gerald Ndiritu said the increase is putting a strain on staff. Ndiritu said since June 3 when they received the official directive, they have complied fully. Expectant women are not being charged any other amount apart from Sh200 registration fee. Meanwhile, women leaders have lauded the presidential decree waiving maternity fees.

On the other hand, Church Women Leaders under the National Council of Churches of Kenya umbrella, asked legislators to focus on nation building.  Pastor Bartha Mwangi condemned attacks on Salaries and Remuneration chair Sarah Serem terming them to be in bad taste.

–– Additional reporting by Caroline Rwenji and Joseph Muchiri

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