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First Lady Launches 70 Bed Referral Maternity For North Rift Region

In line with the national government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), which has listed health care as one of the key pillars, the First Lady Mama Rachel Ruto launched the first of its kind 70 bed specialized maternity hospital in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu.

The hospital boasts the latest equipment and technology to ensure the safety and wellbeing of mothers and children. This includes a fully equipped theatre and a class E laboratory, a fully stocked pharmacy, ICT centre, an ultra-modern diagnostic ultrasound and x-ray unit.

In her speech during the inauguration ceremony, the First Lady indicated that the facility, named in her honour as Mama Rachel Ruto Maternity Hospital, would serve to advance the country’s capacity to offer maternal, neonatal, prenatal and pediatric care for mothers in the county and the larger North Rift region.

‘Am humbled to have the maternity hospital named in my honour. This facility has a rich history from being a residential unit during the colonial period and later evolving into a small dispensary given as charity by the colonialists,’ she noted.

She commended the county and the private sector for the rich investment they have ‘made towards the lives of Kenyan citizens to ensure that all our people access better health care’.

‘With Eldoret being a medical hub in the North Rift Region and the country at large, the existing medical facilities especially maternity have been overstretched and this maternity hospital with 70 bed capacity is a stitch in time to ensure no mother loses life while giving life,’ noted the First Lady.

According to Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2022, 14.4 percent of women in Uasin Gishu could not access a health facility within 1 hour when they need health care services.

Mama Rachel noted that the operationalization of the hospital would improve access to specialized maternal and neonatal healthcare services and act as a referral facility for mother and baby emergency cases ensuring that no mother should lose their own life while giving life.

She further lauded the collaborations between the county government of Uasin Gishu and ELSMED from Israel, Wingcopter from Germany and Siemens group which embraces innovation by use of drones to offer health services.

She said the facility would be a national case study on optimization of health care resources by leveraging technology to ensure there is proper diagnosis.

‘This morning at Huruma Sub County hospital we launched the first of its kind project embracing innovation where the county will be using drone technology to collect medical samples from 117 public health facilities in the county to analyze at a central facility and relay the results back to the health centers,’ alluded Mama Ruto.

She added that the partnerships would further improve health care access especially to people in far flung areas who have been travelling to far off towns to access quality health care and laboratory testing. They would now enjoy the same services at their nearby health care facilities, she noted.

The First Lady pointed out that the initiative was a significant step in realizing the Kenya Kwanza manifesto to achieve Universal Health Care coverage by integrating technology into health care delivery and fully functional primary healthcare mechanisms including preventive, promotive, curative palliative and rehabilitative services.

‘I have received the information that the drone will transport medical samples from the farthest health care in Ainabkoi county to Huruma Sub County hospital in just 7 minutes which by road, would have taken 40 minutes to an hour depending on the traffic on the highway,’ she said.

‘We also commend the governor for their outstanding commitment to health care as evidenced by the 30 percent allocation of their budget to health. We look forward to the construction and the operationalization of the ZIWA Level 5, Kesses, Moiben and Turbo hospitals,’ added Mama Rachel.

Noting that national health journey has been rough, expensive and sometimes out of reach for many Kenyans due to geographical factors and income disparities across the country, the First Lady urged the residents of the county to embrace the roll out of the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) which would see all Kenyans access quality health care without exclusion in line with the policy of leaving no one behind.

In his remarks, Uasin Gishu Governor Dr. Jonathan Chelilim acknowledged the launch of the Mama Rachel Maternity Hospital.

He revealed that the facility comprises state-of-the-art equipment worth Sh1 billion donated by the French Government through the FSE programme.

‘This equipment includes state-of-the-art operating equipment, 20 general incubators and 2 highly specialized Tunnel incubators, the only of their kind in Western Kenya, 40-bed ANC and Post Natal wards and modern delivery beds,’ he said.

‘With this new facility, our mothers will have access to a dedicated referral center for various health conditions, including gynecological units for reproductive health issues. This facility will offer curative, reproductive health, maternal, and child health services, and enhanced skill development among healthcare workers,’ noted the Governor.

Source: Kenya News Agency