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RELIEF FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS IN KENYA, PRESSURE ON HEALTH FACILITIES!

There are many women in Kenyan hospitals having safe delivery of their babies.Thanks to jubilee government for this noble change in policy.This is a complete paradigm shift from the previous experience where only those who could afford went to deliver in hospitals.

To find out more about this, I purposed to go to one of the hospitals in my county and i noticed over 40 women with their sons and daughters, safe and sound. the relatives who had come to process their papers to enable them get discharged expressed a lot of joy as they saw their relatives happy and resting, ready to go home. Even though they had to part with some small fee, they were very satisfied with the quality of service at Mother and baby relay hospital in the moi teaching and referral hospital, Eldoret. on the other hand, the staff said they had a lot of work compared to what was previously done .
As we read in the article below,we find the challenges free marternity posses to the government and existing health personnel. the government urgently needs to upscale the existing infrastructure and increase human power to cope with the demand in hospitals countrywide;

Daily Nation: 2/7/13-By WINSTONE CHISEREMI and JOHN MWANGI

A cross-section of public health facilities offering free maternal health services in Uasin Gishu are experiencing serious challenges. Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret director Dr John Kibosia said yesterday the hospital has been over-stretched beyond its capacity since coming into force of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive of free maternal health services to all mothers in the country from June 1.

He said the facility was receiving an overwhelming number of expectant mothers from North Rift and Western region seeking free maternal health service, thus overstretching their capacity owing to limitedparamedical staff. “We are witnessing unprecedented increase number of expectant mothers visiting our facility from within and outside the county.

In a day, we have an approximate 40 mothers who receive the free maternal services and yet we are unable to meet such a number in a day.” he said. He said the babies being born at the hospital have been increasing steadily from 700 babies two weeks ago to 1,000 in a month. Kibosia said whereas the hospital was committed in implementing the president’s directive to the letter, there was need for the government to set aside more funds to hire nurses and invest in infrastructure in order to meet the demand.

“There is urgent need for the government to equip local hospitals to ease pressure at the facility,” he said. Kibosia said the free maternal health service initiative was a noble idea that would drastically reduce maternal deaths and other complications experienced by mothers after birth. In Mombasa, mothers recuperating after giving birth through Cesarean section at the Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH) are being forced to share beds.

A spot check by The People at the post-natal revealed that patients who have undergone medical operating and who require special care were being moved to the normal delivery section in order to create space for new patients from theatre. “The ward has 40-bed capacity, but we are currently accommodating up to 100 mothers,” said a nurse attached to the ward who requested anonymity.

In some cases, three patients have to share one bed. “When moving operated patients to the other section and forcing them to share beds when barely they have started healing, we tell them to understand that this is a public hospital which must accommodate every mother who comes for delivery,” she said. The ward has reserved half of the beds for mothers who give birth through operation while the other half is reserved for those with normal delivery.

About four beds are reserved for those with acute conditions like diabetes and High Blood Pressure (HBP). “It’s tough when you have to share a bed even before one has recovered. Anyway, one has to put up with the conditions when you cannot afford going at private hospital” said a patient. Also the check revealed lack of privacy for patients, with nurses carrying out procedures in broad daylight without privacy shields.

Meanwhile, the hospital has developed a way of ensuring those patients under National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) remit the deductions. Mothers who deliver at the facility are now required to give their details to enable the hospital establish if they are NHIF beneficiaries long before they get discharged.

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