Caritas Nairobi officially launched the maternity wing of Mary Immaculate health Centre Bahati. This was in collaboration with Caritas Italiana and the Italian Episcopal Conference. The health centre located in Nairobi’s Eastlands area aims to provide affordable midwifery and childcare health services in line with the healing mission of the Catholic Church.

The health facility was officially opened and blessed by his Lordship Bishop David Kamau. “Taking care of life was the mandate and mission of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church is committed to fulfilling this. We shall therefore continue supporting such establishments and ensure that they operate accordingly,” said His Lordship Bishop David Kamau.

Mary Immaculate Health center was begun by the sisters of Mary Immaculate as a dispensary in 1973. The aim was to provide access to basic promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative community based health services thereby reducing incidences of sickness and death. The dispensary has been offering treatment for common ailments, antenatal care and immunization for babies to the Bahati people and beyond. With time, the need for maternity services became evident, as there was only one clinic in Bahati offering maternity services. Sisters reached out to donors to help them put up a maternity wing.

Through the upgrade, the hospital has a bed capacity of 30 and a fully equipped theater for delivery through cesarean section courtesy of Manos Unidas, Spain. The facility also has ultra sound services, and it is currently in the process of getting accreditation with NHIF to allow mothers and families who are NHIF contributors to use their cards. The health facility can be reached on 0725878014.

The government and the private sector have come under fire as to whether they are doing enough to curb issues pertaining maternal health care in Kenya, which have in the recent past come on the lime light due to escalating death rate caused by preventable childbirth related complications.

A report by the Health Policy Paper 2012 indicates that Kenya’s mortality rates still remains at a worrying rate of 488 deaths per 100,000 live births; at this rate, the country is losing over 8,000 mothers annually due to pregnancy and birth related complications. This report further indicates that as of 2009, the lifetime risk of maternal death was 1 in 39 women making Kenya as one of the world’s most affected countries.

A more recent report by the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2014 shows a decline in maternal mortality quoting it at 362 deaths per 100, 000 live births. Going by these figures, birth related deaths have reduced however, as it stands more interventions are needed to reduce these numbers. According to the Millennium Development Goals Status report
2013, the target for Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 147 to 100,000 live births is achievable as all maternal deaths are largely preventable through proper and timely care services.

While gracing the occasion, Dagoretti South Member of Parliament Hon’ Dennis Waweru said, “This contribution by the Catholic community comes as a boost to the government’s strides of providing professional and affordable health services”

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