First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today commissioned the Makueni Mother and Child specialist hospital, weeks after she inaugurated a similar facility in Nakuru.
The ultra modern Makueni Mother and Child Hospital is an autonomous 120 bed (adults) capacity centre of excellence hosted within the 24-acre compound where the County referral hospital stands.
The Shs135 million flagship facility is equipped with modern equipment with a capacity to handle most of the challenges related to reproductive health.
Facilities in the new hospital include a nursery with 80 baby cots, two theatres, nine incubators, six delivery beds, ultrasound and imaging facilities, aqua birth facilities, various wards for mothers and babies, laboratory and a pharmacy.
Besides Makueni, the new hospital will serve mothers and children from the four neighbouring counties of Machakos, Kitui, Kajiado and Taita Taveta.
The First Lady described the Makueni health facility as a major milestone and expressed her satisfaction with the comprehensive range of health services being offered at the hospital.
“As I toured the facility, I was impressed by the level of care given by the hospital staff and the broad range of specialised reproductive health services offered from maternity, to pediatric and gynecological care,’’ said the First Lady.
The new specialized health facility moves the country a step closer to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) whose pilot program President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to launch in Kisumu on Thursday next week.
The First Lady said the Makueni mother and child hospital will greatly contribute to reversing maternal and child mortality in the region through the provision of timely emergency and specialised care.
She was hosted in Makueni by Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana, madam Nazi Kibwana (the Makueni County First Lady who also doubles up as the chairperson of County First Ladies) and a host of other local leaders.
Also in attendance were eleven County First Ladies from across the country.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta applauded Prof Kibwana and his leadership for prioritising the health of women and children.
“I applaud the Governor and the County Government for reaching out to mothers and children and making Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) a priority.
“The efforts placed by the leadership in improving health care in this county will bring positive change to the lives of many families and communities living in this region,” said the First Lady.
She said the two Mother and Child specialized health facilities in Nakuru and Makueni were a huge statement that the county governments are ready to complement the National Government in the expansion of health facilities to actualize Kenya’s collective dream towards UHC.
The First Lady appealed to mothers in Makueni and the neighbouring counties to take advantage of the new facility for their reproductive healthcare needs.
Once again, the First Lady acknowledged the important role played by health professionals saying the success of the country’s health care delivery is largely dependent on the constant supply of health workers, especially nurses and community health workers.
She applauded Makueni County for leading in the training of community health workers.
She invited Kenyans to join her in the 2019 Beyond Zero Marathon scheduled for March next year.
Prof Kibwana said the people of Makueni are supportive of both the UHC and the government’s Big 4 development agenda.
Others who spoke during the function included Ms Nazi Kibwana, the County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Health Dr Andrew Mulwa and Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo (Jnr).
The leaders acknowledged the milestones achieved by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta through her Beyond Zero initiative including reduction in the rate of new HIV infections especially between mothers and newborn babies.
Dr Mulwa said the Beyond Zero Mobile Clinic donated to Makueni County by the First Lady had directly served over 60,000 residents and some 7,000 women screened for cervical cancer using services offered in the facility.