Nurse union wants medical audit at Pumwani

The nurses’ union has asked for a comprehensive medical audit of Pumwani Maternity Hospital.

This follows claims of poor services and poorly maintained facilities that have been blamed for the death of infants.

Speaking at the hospital yesterday, the secretary general of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Seth Panyako (right) said a comprehensive audit would enable the authorities to identify the problem and those responsible.

“We are concerned about those unlucky mothers whose babies are dying every month. We want to find out what the cause is ,” Mr Panyako said. He said when Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko visited the facility earlier this week, he found nurses in a crisis meeting discussing the issues that were hampering delivery of services.

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The union criticised those keen on addressing how the governor was running the county, saying that was running away from reality.

“Every leader has his or her own leadership style. We should not concentrate our efforts on how the governor did it; infants were found dead,” Panyako said.

He added that the union did not want attention diverted from the issues affecting the hospital and other health facilities.

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Panyako noted that there were serious problems such as maternal deaths and delivery of services that must be addressed.

“It does not matter how Mike Sonko has brought out these issues. We know there are issues here,” he said.

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He reiterated that the union wanted to find out what the cause of the infant deaths was, adding that if a nurse is found culpable, then he or she must take responsibility.

Pumwani has 160 nurses, which according to KNUN were not enough, considering the number of mothers who deliver at the hospital.

According to the union, the facility ought to have 480 nurses. Panyako stated that part of the nurses' grievances was that they were being overworked by the hospital's management.

The union said three units - a surgical ward, a theatre and the high dependency unit - had been closed down. Panyako said this was a sign that the hospital did not have enough nurses.

“There is a shortage of 320 nurses in this hospital,” Panyako said.

“Pumwani has remained a hospital of choice for mothers and the audit is what is going to help us know and address the issues affecting it,” Panyako reiterated.

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Pumwani Maternity HospitalSeth PanyakoKenya National Union of NursesNairobi Governor Mike SonkoAudit