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First Lady donates incubators to city hospital

By Metro Reporter
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has donated eight infant incubators to Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi as part of her efforts to reduce mother and child mortality in the country.

The incubators which were purchased by the Chinese Government are intended to increase the hospital’s capacity to handle new born premature babies. Pumwani is the largest maternity hospital in the country.
The hospital handles 80 deliveries per day with about 10 babies requiring incubation.
She pointed out that the premature babies whose organs are yet to fully develop cannot survive in a normal postnatal environment.
“These precious infants are at greater risk of short and longer term complications, including disabilities and impediments in growth and mental development,” said the First Lady.
She said majority of the newborn deaths occur at the time of birth and during the first day of life.
“Some are so small, so fragile and so delicate that they weigh no more than 800g and are smaller than the palm of an adult hand,” she said.
Further adding: ”Because of their weight and size, their chances of survival are slim and many times, they will die if they do not receive specialized care.”
She also added that premature babies require a more controlled environment and monitoring achievable through simple and cost effective interventions such as Kangaroo mother care (KMC) and breastfeeding.
“Kangaroo Mother Care requires dedicated space with comfortable beds for mothers of preterm babies,” she said.
She further added: “It also requires skilled staff in preterm care. The equipping costs for Kangaroo mother care centers are comparatively low, while warmth and breast milk come from the mother at no cost.”
Incubator nursing provide specialized care to premature babies and sick term babies, she added.
The survival of a child, the First Lady said, is closely linked to the survival of their mother. Most expectant mothers in many parts of the country however encounter barriers in accessing comprehensive maternal and child health services.
She identified some of the barriers as high cost of services, retrogressive socio-cultural practices and inadequate health equipment.
The First Lady said the free maternity services in all government facilities has increased the number of women who deliver decently under care of health workers in public health facilities by 21%.
On average, the babies stay in the incubator between two and seven days while some require more time depending on their condition.
She called on all the stakeholders in the health sector to pool resources and ensure the services are available in hospitals to improve on the safety and outcome of every baby.
The First Lady said it is for these reasons that she personally committed through the “Beyond Zero” campaign to champion not only for the children’s health but also their mothers and men as well.
Speaking on behalf of the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, the Deputy Chinese Chief of Mission Deng Hongbo said his Government attaches great importance to its ties with Kenya. He added that the ‘Beyond Zero’ initiative championed by the First Lady has given women and children in Kenya great hope.
Nairobi County Governor Dr. Evans Kidero commended the First Lady for her efforts geared at improving women and child health saying the incubators donated to the Pumwani Maternity Hospital will go a long way in assisting the county to offer better health services.
Other speakers included the Director of Medical Service Dr. Nicholas Muraguri and Chief Executive incharge of health in Nairobi County Dr. Timothy Kingondu among others


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