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Save the pregnant women of Nyalenda B in Kisumu county

UREPORT
By Okun Oliech | February 17th 2016

Residents of Nyalenda B in Kisumu County are an angry lot. Pregnant women in this area still cannot access the maternity ward that was built two years ago to help reduce the number of maternal deaths and child mortality in the area. The facility was built by a contractor hired by the county government of Kisumu. According to the residents of Nyalenda B, the contractor has refused to open the maternity ward for use because he has not been paid by the county government for all the work done.

The closure of this maternity ward has brought about a lot of suffering to pregnant women in this area. Some women have been forced to give birth at home putting their lives in danger in case complications arise. Maternal deaths and child mortality in the area is also on the rise and this has been contributed by the closure of this maternity ward.

Moreover because of poverty in this area some women have been forced to walk for hours under the scorching sun of Kisumu for them to access maternal health services. The nearest maternal health centre is about 800 meters from Nyalenda B. This is not right at all.

As the contractor and the county government continue to fight it is the common mwananchi of Nyalenda B who ends up hurt.  The facility should be opened with immediate effect for women to deliver safely in hospitals hence averting maternal deaths and child mortality in the area. If the county government of Kisumu is committed to bringing cases of maternal and child mortality to zero then it needs to open this facility.

I want to remind the county government of Kisumu that the constitution under article 43(1) states that every person has a right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care. The county government should be working toward ensuring health for all and not health for few individuals.

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