The initiative is part of Safaricom’s programme aimed at increasing access to quality maternal and child health services in the county, which previously used to record high maternal and infant deaths.
According to Kenya Demographic Health Survey, Baringo County loses 375 mothers among every 100,000 who give birth and 31 infants from every 1,000 live births.
The survey stated that at least 15, 000 women in the seven sub-counties of Mogotio, Koibatek, Marigat, Baringo central, Baringo North, Tiaty East and Tiaty West will benefit from the programme.
Speaking Thursday at the hospital grounds during the official opening and handing over of the two refurbished facilities, Safaricom Foundation Trustee Rita Okuthe said that the organization was committed to supporting the county government to achieve its maternal health programme objectives aimed at improving the lives of mothers and children.
Okuthe expressed concern over challenges women in marginalized areas of Baringo faced stating that Safaricom was committed to assist the county in addressing knotty issues.
“Expectant women normally travel more than 150 kilometers to get specialized maternal health service at the county referral hospital in Kabarnet but through our intervention, we have reduced this average distance to 54 kilometers,” she said.
Baringo governor Stanley Kiptis who officiated the launch said that the investment is set to help the county referral hospital increase its bed capacity at the Maternal HDU from the current eight to 36 beds.
Kiptis revealed that the hospital has been equipped with patient monitors and a heating system which is expected to reduce referrals to other healthcare providers in neighbouring counties.
In 2020, Safaricom Foundation supported Barwessa health centre and Chemolingot sub-county hospital by upgrading their newborn and maternity units.
Also last year, the leading mobile telephony company launched a Sh82 million maternal, newborn and child health programme in the county with an aim of averting the high rate of maternal and infant deaths occurring in the region.
by Vivian Boswony/Joshua Kibet