, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – The Pumwani Maternal Hospital on Monday received a Sh850 million boost from a Chinese delegation, which will be used for restructuring the facility and increasing its capacity
The hospital\’s Executive Officer Fridah Govedi explained that the monies would be released in two phases with the first targeting the health management information systems and the second facilitating the hospital\’s expansion.
While noting that the hospital handled 100 deliveries each day, Dr Godia added that the aid would ensure women got cheap and proper maternal health care.
"We refer most of the mothers out because we don\’t have the supporting services that can cater for them… so we will now be able to handle them. Deliveries may even double because when you offer quality, you patronise that quality," she said.
Dr Godia also pointed out that the prices charged for services at the hospital would remain the same. Normal deliveries are charged a maximum of Sh3000 while caesarean births are charged Sh6,000.
She added that the money would also go towards setting up a public neonatal health care unit for children who could not afford private care. A minimum of Sh20 is charged in public hospitals for health care services.
"They don\’t have to add extra money because you can\’t compromise someone\’s health because of the lack of funds," she argued.
"We must also appreciate that we don\’t have a public children\’s health hospital. We rely on Gertrude\’s and you find that many children under five die because they can\’t afford the costs," she noted.
The head of the Chinese delegation Zhu Yan explained that the donation would help set up an information technology system for the entire hospital and also help buy equipment required for maternal and neonatal care.
Nairobi mayor George Aladwa said that the money would cushion the hospital against some of the existing infrastructural challenges and ensure that it performed to its potential.
The Nairobi City Council operates 80 health care centres across the city. Mr Aladwa noted that most of them couldn\’t operate fully because they lacked sufficient capacity.
"It is unfortunate to say that these facilities never operate to their maximum because of challenges of equipment shortage, drugs and even personnel. We hope that you can extend your aid to cover these areas as well," he said.
Town clerk Philip Kisia further asked the government to help expand the health care sector. He argued that proper health care was one of the driving factors for the country\’s Vision 2030.
He also noted that the hospital, which was established in 1926, only had 350 beds and 100 baby cots but was supposed to serve all Nairobi residents who could not afford private health care.
"The population in Nairobi in 1926 was just a few thousand people and the facility had 17 beds to cater for a few people. But almost 100 years later we have not done much to increase its capacity," he said.
"I\’ve been asking myself where I would get Sh1 billion to revamp the hospital and take it back to where it was about 100 years ago, and on a fine Monday morning, I got my answer," he said.
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