NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 20 – The management of Pumwani Maternity Hospital has been directed to establish a functional cold room within 14 days and ensure there is availability of transport and ambulance system to provide a 24-hour service.
These are part of recommendations made by the joint committee inquiring on the death of infants at Pumwani Maternity following public uproar after 11 bodies were found stashed in boxes and polythene bags.
From the preliminary report, the committee established that the hospital has a number of challenges that need urgent intervention.
“The committee observed that the hospital has a number of challenges ranging from weak health systems, inadequate infrastructure, equipment and shortage of health workforce including nurses, medical doctors and clinical officers,” read the statement.
During a fact-finding mission to the facility by Senators on Wednesday, it emerged that the facility does not have a cold room.
The Senators had demanded to know why infants were stashed in boxes and polythene papers on Monday.
The health workers explained that they did not have an option because there is no cold room at the facility but a small holding room where bodies are kept before being transferred to the City Mortuary.
The health workers also said they are overwhelmed by work due to understaffing given the high number of mothers who seek maternity services at the facility.
Lack of equipment and inadequate infrastructure was also reported as a major challenge.
For instance, there are two theatres and only one is operational leading to delays in conducting caesarean sections which is risky.
As a result, the committee has recommended that Nairobi County Government moves with speed to deploy more health workers to deliver quality health services.
Further, the County Government has been asked to equip and operationalize hospitals and health centres to provide maternal and newborn health services to decongest Pumwani Maternity Hospital.