MOMBASA, Kenya, Jul 23 – Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho on Monday launched a Sh14 million Maternal High Dependency Unit at the Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH).
The project carried out in conjunction with Safaricom Foundation in which Mombasa County did the infrastructural changes worth Sh8 million while Safaricom brought in equipment worth Sh6 million.
The unit has been equipped with eight modern beds, with each bed having a five-parameter monitor and oxygen tank to handle complex pregnancy cases.
This is the first time CPGH, which is the largest 600-bed-capacity referral hospital at the Coast, will have a Maternal High Dependency Unit.
Speaking during the launch, Governor Joho said they do not take for granted the Safaricom programme to equip the hospital.
“With other donors, it would have taken years to implement such a project, but Safaricom came in and before we could even realise it, we were called to launch it,” said Joho.
Joho said in 2013, few months after he was elected, he found CPGH in a very dire state.
“I made it my business to change the state of this institution and we have been able to make steps. We will continue working with other people to ensure we achieve greatness,” said Joho.
Safaricom Trustee Rita Okuthe said they first started a similar project in the North Easter region of Kenya some three years ago.
She said when they were launching a Maternal High Dependency Unit in that region the maternal deaths per live births were 3,172/100,000 live births per year.
“However, three years later after we launched the project, we have been able to bring down the maternal deaths to 572 per 100,000 annually,” said Okuthe, adding that they expect to reduce the ones at Coast which currently stand at 362/100,000 live births.
CPGH Chief Administrator Dr Iqbal Khandwalla, said in addition to the equipment, they have high-skilled staff.
“We have high skilled staff, consisting of not only oncologists, but also nurse anaesthetists and physicians. The idea is that anybody who comes here is going to be diagnosed and treated very well and we believe with this facility we are going to attend to high-risk pregnancies effectively,” Khandwalla, said.
He said CPGH receives a high number of referrals approximately 60 per month form different counties.
Among those referrals are mothers that come with complex conditions like high blood pressure in pregnancy, bleeding in pregnancy, severe malaria in pregnancy among others.