The Maternal Health Services in Samburu County has received a major boost after M-Pesa Foundation constructed and equipped a new born unit at a cost of Sh.19 million at Maralal Referral Hospital.
The unit has been equipped with incubators, oxygen machines and surgical equipment to provide neo natal services and has a capacity of holding up to 20 infants.
Speaking on Tuesday after handing over the facility to the Samburu county government, the M-Pesa Foundation Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Les Baillie said that the foundation has a five and a half year presence in Samburu County to help improve health service delivery.
Braillie noted that the foundation has pumped over Sh.500 million in training over 3,000 community health volunteers and equipping an ambulance command center among other activities.
“Today we have taken infants into consideration and the newborn unit will make a big difference in delivery and vaccination of infants to reduce the number of maternal and infant deaths,” he said.
Marti health centre in Samburu north also received a newly equipped ambulance worth Sh.10 million which will serve patients between Marti and Baragoi towns.
“Police land cruisers in Samburu North usually ferry expectant women to health centers but the new ambulance will be safer since they will be receiving health services on transit,” noted Samburu County Health Chief Executive Committee Member (CEC), Francis Lekupe.
Lekupe noted that due to accessibility of maternal centers and training of nurses and other health workers, hospital deliveries have increased and sustained and as a result, less mothers and infants are dying.
The CEC further noted that anti natal care has risen from 74 percent in 2014 to 96 percent in 2019 while hospital deliveries are at 45.5 percent up from 22 percent. Post-natal care has risen from 7 percent to 37 percent while the number of women under family planning has risen from 10 to 37 percent.
Lekupe assured Samburu residents that the county government would ensure that there is sustainability of the donor funded projects through increased budget allocation.
The five year partnership has been between the M-PESA foundation, Pharm Access, AMREF and the county government of Samburu.
By Robert Githu