Ida Odinga and Azimio deputy presidential candidate Martha Karua on Thursday officially opened a Mother and Child Hospital at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisii town, Kisii County.
The facility which will host a paediatric ward, a pharmacy, maternity services, theatres, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for newborns and a research center, is expected to provide health services to mothers and children with the aim of reducing maternal deaths.
Speaking after touring the hospital, Mrs. Odinga congratulated the Kisii Governor for investing in the hospital and challenged the gubernatorial candidates in the upcoming election to ensure they invest more in the health sector.
She decried the increasing number of Kenyans who are raising funds online to seek health services abroad due to lack of health facilities and personnel to take care of them in the country.
Mrs. Odinga noted that the country has doctors who are highly trained to address the needs of patients and urged those in higher hierarchy in government to ensure their needs are addressed.
“Make sure these people are paid because they are also human beings. Despite the work that they are doing, they have families to look after,” she said.
Mrs. Odinga pointed out that the life of everyone depends on doctors and encouraged them to continue addressing the health issues of the residents.
Karua said the facility will provide quality health care and urged the leadership that will take over the county after the next General Election in August to ensure that the facility is fully operational.
“I am happy that two of those aspiring to be Governors are present at this event. Let them know that they have their work cut out to make the facility fully operational,” she noted.
Health Principal Secretary (PS) Susan Mochache said the hospital would address some of the health issues that remained a priority for the country and especially Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which is also dealing with maternal health and child health.
Mochache noted the Ministry of Health has succeeded in reducing maternal deaths from about 70 per cent to about 38 per cent because of various interventions that have been implemented.
For instance, the PS pointed out that they had rolled out the Linda Mama programme that has enabled women to visit health facilities and safely deliver their children without charges.
“We are focused on reducing maternal deaths and a facility like this means that more women can come and deliver right here in the hospital,” she said.
Mochache noted that the goal of the Ministry of Health with regard to mothers and children’s health is to increase their accessibility to health care services and ensure that no woman gives birth at home.
She pointed out that they would collaborate with Kisii County government to ensure the facility is fully equipped and give all the support it requires to serve the mothers and children in the county.
During her visit to Kisii, Mrs. Odinga also launched a five-storey Doctors’ Plaza and the Gender-Based Violence and Drug Rehabilitation center within Kisii town.
She was accompanied by Murang’a Women Representative Sabina Chege, Homa Bay Women Representative Gladys Wanga, Dagoretti MP Simba Arati, Kisii Women Representative Janet Ongera and Kisii Governor James Ongwae.
By Mercy Osongo