First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has been on the forefront fighting for maternal and child health with her Beyond Zero initiative.
But with the recent deaths of conjoined twins in Kisii and Mombasa counties, this is disheartening. Although there are fully equipped private hospitals, none of the facilities volunteered to take in the twins to help save their lives.
Kenyatta National Hospital, the largest referral and teaching hospital in the country could not admit the babies due to ‘lack of space’.
In October last year, Mr Alex Madaga, an accident victim died after spending 18 hours in an ambulance as he was waiting for admission at KNH intensive care unit as a result of this ‘space’ business.
I am calling upon the Government and other stakeholders to address this fundamental issue of space to avert more deaths.
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The Government should equip health facilities with the state-of-the-art equipment to manage emergency cases and prevent infant deaths as they await referrals.
It is unfortunate that it took four days to decide the fate of the twins.
If the counties cannot manage health dockets, let the docket be returned back to the national government.
As we wait for the change, I am calling upon the Treasury that conditional grants be paid directly to counties rather than the ministry of Health so that the money can be promptly sent to hospitals.
This will minimise delayed payment of salaries for nurses and doctors, thus reducing strikes.
This arrangement will also ensure the money is not misused.