MPs want Nakhumicha sacked over Linda Mama programme

Dr Angeline Ithondeka a consultant paediatrician at the Naivasha sub-county hospital has a word with mothers during a post-natal clinic in the facility. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

Women Members of Parliament are now calling on President William Ruto to sack Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha over the ills bedevilling the health sector.

On Tuesday, more than 10 women leaders decried the stoppage of the Linda Mama programme by the Ministry of Health for the last month and accused the CS of abandoning pregnant mothers who are suffering due to the doctor’s strike.

Led by Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba, Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo and Kilifi Woman Rep Gertrude Mbeyu, they called for the immediate sacking of Nakhumicha saying that she was unable to provide solutions to the problems facing her docket.

“If President William Ruto cares about this country, then he must sack CS Nakhumicha and bring in someone who will better ensure the provision of medical services to Kenyans in need of healthcare. Nakhumicha must go!” said Mbeyu.

The Woman Rep noted that mothers who could barely afford Sh100 a day rely on the Linda Mama programme and any child or mother’s death recorded since the stoppage of the Linda Mama card should be blamed on the CS.

Wamuchomba claimed that the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cards were also not working ahead of the rollout of the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) in July.

This, she said, only compounded the woes of Kenyans who were reeling from the effects of the more than 33-day doctor’s strike.

“Are the women who are due to give birth expected to wait until July? We demand the immediate reinstatement of the Linda Mama programme and that President Ruto sacks the health CS,” said Wamuchomba.

“We have been receiving calls from our constituents in the hospital telling us that they had lost their children during birth due to an unavailability of doctors while most have been unable to go to the hospital due to the non-renewal of the Linda mama card,” she added.

The Githunguri MP while revealing that the CS is scheduled to appear before the House plenary on Wednesday for questioning, demanded that she must shed light on why the Linda mama cards had not been renewed and where the funds allocated to the programme through the national budget, went.

Mombasa County Woman Rep Zamzam Mohamed said: “During campaigns, the Kenya Kwanza administration told voters that they would get free diapers and benefit from the Linda mama programme but now they have no NHIF and not even doctors to attend to pregnant mothers. We just want our women to get access to treatment.”

Odhiambo called on the CS to right the wrongs within her docket within the next five days.

“This is a life and death situation that must be corrected within the next five days. I know that mothers are suffering. If I, who is not a mother feel the pain, imagine what mothers are going through…Nakhumicha is putting us in a compromising situation as women leaders,” said the MP.

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