Maternity cen­tres lie idle on medical work­ers short­age

Business Daily (Kenya) - - COUNTY BUSINESS - Mag­da­lene Wanja and Lamech Wily

Maternity hos­pi­tals in Nakuru are ly­ing idle due to lack of doc­tors and nurses to op­er­ate the fa­cil­i­ties, high­light­ing waste of tax­pay­ers’ money.

A pre­lim­i­nary re­port by the Nakuru Health task­force in­di­cates that short­age of staff is one of fac­tors ail­ing the sec­tor.

The task­force led by for­mer Eger­ton Uni­ver­sity vice chan­cel­lor Prof James Tuitoek in­di­cated that maternity fa­cil­i­ties are the hardest hit by staff short­ages.

“We have es­tab­lished that we have an over-sup­ply of the maternity fa­cil­i­ties, but most of them are idle. For ex­am­ple in So­lai, we found a fully equipped cen­tre with no sin­gle worker,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Prof Tuitoek, the most af­fected cen­tre are those sit­u­ated in ru­ral ar­eas.

“Most of the work­ers in the ru­ral fa­cil­i­ties are work­ing on con­tract bases and this could be one of the con­tribut­ing fac­tor,” he said.

Ear­lier in the year, a re­port by the Min­istry of Health ranked Nakuru as one of the lead­ing coun­ties in in­fants’ mor­tal­ity rates.

This has seen the county en­gage in ma­jor projects, among them con­struc­tion of a mother and baby (ma­ter­nal) com­plex at the Nakuru Level Five hos­pi­tal to boost the ma­ter­nal health fa­cil­i­ties.

CA­PAC­ITY An idle health­care cen­tre in Nakuru County. -FILE

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