The County government of Meru has increased its annual budget allocation towards Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, and Child Healthcare services (RMNCH) from Sh2 million to Sh10 million in the financial year 2022/2023 with the aim of improving child healthcare services.
Speaking at his office, the Chief Officer for health Dr. James Kirimi said the county is focusing on improving health infrastructure all around the county to increase access and better coverage of the available healthcare services.
The County government has also embarked on intensive training and improving the medical skills of all county health workers, in the field of maternal health care, in a bid to improve the quality of service delivery to both mothers and children.
According to the officer, the County targets to improve antenatal healthcare services to the mothers to 100 percent from the current 85 percent that has been reported from the year 2021 to date.
“First antenatal care visits for the expectant mothers stand at 85 percent. However, there is a challenge with the fourth visit that is at 50 percent and we are hoping to increase it to 100 percent as per the World Health Organization (WHO) requirement,” Said Kirimi.
He also appealed to the expectant mothers to prioritize hospital delivery, saying that there have been 40 percent cases of obstructed delivery resulting from mothers not seeking medical assistance in time during labor.
“I urge all mothers to make it a habit of delivering at the hospital to avoid unforeseen circumstances that cannot be handled at home,” Said Kirimi.
The CO also expressed concern about the high number of teenage pregnancies and abortions that is on an upward trajectory in Meru County.
According to Kirimi, 38 percent of hospital delivery are from teenagers, with 1800 cases of teenage abortion reported in the year 2021.
“Majority of deliveries are from young teenage girls and this is a worrying trend, especially to the parents and society at large,” noted Kirimi.
He also appealed to the teenagers who have already undergone abortion to seek post-abortion care that is offered across health facilities in the county.
By Erick Otieno/ Dickson Mwiti