The Safaricom Foundation has set up a Sh10 million maternity unit at Chemolingot Hospital.
The unit was equipped by Kenya Devolution Support Programme, also at a cost of Sh10 million, and has capacity of at least 20 beds, a delivery, theatre and postnatal room.
This is a reprieve for women of child-bearing age, as pregnant women in the constituency used to travel tens of kilometres in search of maternity services while others depended on traditional birth attendants.
Twenty-one-year-old Chepteyo Yego is the first mother to deliver at the newly opened maternity wing. Yego safely delivered her first born in the hands of skilled health workers at the facility, and even though her baby was premature and needed special care, the hospital had the necessary equipment to care for the infant.
Agnes Rutok, 39, who was among villagers present at the opening ceremony could not hide her joy.
“This is God’s miracle; now pregnant women will receive crucial services they require during pregnancy and after giving birth. Our children, too, have been spared the agony of giving birth by the roadside,” said Rutok.
The mother of five recalls the time she was in labour but due to distance, was forced to give birth on her way to hospital.
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“I was lucky to survive, I guess because I had a midwife with me, but what I went through I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” said Rutok.
Safaricom Foundation Trustee Rita Okuthe appealed to the community to allow young girls to complete their education in order to improve their living standards. Okuthe noted that the main agenda of the foundation was to ensure safe delivery for both mother and child.
Baringo County Governor Stanley Kiptis said they have employed 155 clinical officers of the 400 that were needed, adding that they have no money to employ more.
”We do not have enough specialists, and we have received a letter warning us not to employ,” said Kiptis.
Devolution Cabinet Administrative Secretary Abdul Buhari said every woman in the country deserves safe delivery, and that counties are working together to ensure quality maternal services are provided.