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Maternal hospital opened targeting low income women

BETH-MUGO-JACARANDANAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 2 – If you are a woman who lives in urban areas and works as a domestic help, vegetable seller, factory worker or a shop owner, and you are busy and cost-conscious, a hospital has been opened in Kahawa West to cater to your reproductive health, especially maternal care.

The newly opened Jacaranda Maternity Hospital has been set up to provide women at the grassroots level with quality maternal services that are affordable.

“Our clients are first-time mother and women who have children. They are the newborns who deserve a warm, welcoming, healthy start to life. They are babies who need immunizations and consistent health care to ensure they are growing into healthy children,” Faith Muigai, the founder and Chief Medical Officer of Jacaranda Health said during the launch.

Mothers will therefore part with Sh9,000 for normal delivery at the hospital while those who need Caesarean section will part with Sh35,000.

Additionally, the hospital will offer antenatal care and postnatal care among other pregnancy related problems. The hospital will also provide treatment mothers and children with services such as basic paediatric and family planning.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Senator Beth Mugo applauded the hospital’s decision to cater to women and children’s health.

“As a mother and woman leader, I am committed to continue advocating for the right of women as well as adequate resource allocations in the health sector because I have a duty to influence the health of the people especially mothers and children. I therefore congratulate Jacaranda for making a contribution towards the improvement of health in the society,” Mugo said.

With a nursing background and as a woman, Muigai knows firsthand the challenges that to-be mothers, new mother and newborns face; which was her primary motivation for opening the hospital.

“I was fortunate to live abroad for eighteen years. When I came back, I discovered that women, who were hardworking and more often the primary breadwinners of their families, were not bringing life into the world in a dignified manner. Mothers are still dying while giving birth, this was the reason why I chose to do this,” said Muigai.

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The case is not isolate to Kenya alone. Statistics submitted by Jacaranda show that across Africa, 250,000 women and over one million children die in childbirth with an astounding ninety nine percent of these being from sub-Saharan Africa.

Further, one in every 39 women die during child bearing in Kenya. This is a far outcry when compared to only one woman dying out of three thousand seven hundred in the US.

“For every woman who dies in childbirth, approximately twenty more suffer from injury, infection or disease. That is another ten million every year.”

Efforts such as those of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta have however been impactful on countering these statistics. Her Beyond Zero Campaign has been providing mobile maternal clinics to counties across the country to provide safe delivery.

But these efforts are yet to beat the challenges on the ground. According to Jacaranda Health, most low-income women deliver children at home or in underequipped public facilities – run mainly by the government – characterised by shared postpartum beds, extremely low staff-to-patient ratios, lack of lifesaving drugs among other shortcomings.

“This is the reason why we have launched a facility that is small, personalized and build and run with patients at the core,” Muigai said.

Its business model is also a winning one. Upon striking a public private partnership with USAID, the hospital has been able to rise to its feet; a move Mugo commended.

“The government cannot solve all the health challenges this country faces alone. We are calling onto private investors to partner with the government and launch projects such as this one,” she said.

The hospital is the second following a similar successful launch of Jacaranda Maternal Hospital in Ruiru.

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