Joy for mothers as Waiguru opens a new maternity ward in Mwea
Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru has opened a 21-bed capacity maternity ward at South Ngariama Health Center in Mwea constituency ahead of the rolling out of the M-Mama emergency referral system for pregnant mothers and newborns.
Waiguru said the county has started enrolling women of childbearing age into the program that seeks to swiftly seeks to transports pregnant women and newborns facing complications to appropriate healthcare facilities.
During the launch, governor Waiguru termed the maternity project as a great milestone towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage goals for Kirinyaga.
She said the maternity has brought great relief to mothers in the far flung Murinduko Ward who have now been saved from travelling long distances in search of maternity services.
Waiguru noted that accessible and affordable maternal and neonatal services will ensure that babies are not delivered at home which in turn will reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.
“The 21-bed capacity will particularly be of great benefit to around 530 women of child-bearing age from the area who will receive skilled delivery, antenatal, postnatal as well as Mother and Child Health services. They will also be accorded timely and appropriate referral services when need arises.” Said the Governor.
She added that to further improve the delivery of mother and child healthcare services, the county government has introduced M-Mama program that will enable expectant mothers to digitally seek free transportation services to hospital for emergency services through an emergency hotline number.
South Ngariama Health Center serves a population of about 7,000 people from Morgan, Ikulungu, Itangi, Kadawa, Miatuini, Makuti, and Kiumbu villages.
The maternity project becomes the 10th health sector project that Waiguru has launched in the last one and a half years, increasing access to quality healthcare services for thousands of Kirinyaga residents.
Those previously launched include Kerugoya Level Five Hospital Complex, Kiamwathi, Joshua Mbai, Kamwana, Kianjiru, Kiaumbui, Umoja, Matandara Dispensaries and Riakithiga Laboratory. Others lined up for opening include: Mucagara Kavote, Kiarukungu, Kandongu laboratory, Njegas female ward, Kiamuruga, Kiandieri and Kiandai-Baragwi.
Upgrading of Kianyaga and Kimbimbi Hospitals from Level 3 and Level 4 to enable them offer more comprehensive services to the residents is also at advanced stages.
Waiguru said that the County Government has an elaborate plan of implementing Universal Health Coverage which includes the enhancement of primary healthcare. She noted that apart from developing the infrastructure, her administration is empowering about 1,000 Community Health Promoters (CHPs) through training after which they will be issued with basic medical kits and enlisted for a monthly stipend to ease their operations. She noted that CHPs play a critical role in reducing the disease burden and will greatly help in educating Kirinyaga residents on dealing with lifestyle diseases which are highly prevalent in the county.
Waiguru said that President William Ruto will officially roll out the Universal Health Coverage program towards the end of this month, noting that all the 47 counties were in full support of the program.