Concerns have been raised over an increasing number of pregnant mothers from rural areas in Uasin Gishu County that are seeking delivery services in hospitals located in Eldoret town, and other urban areas.
This is despite the fact that there are many locally-based health facilities offering the same services.
According to Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, continued preference of hospitals in urban areas was causing unnecessary congestion in the facilities, while at the same time leading to underutilization of the rural health facilities that are equally well equipped.
Mandago notes that the congestion of mothers delivering in urban health facilities was also exposing them to the risk of contracting Covid-19.
“Those mothers going to deliver in town, especially during this Covid-19 period, why come to congest in a hospital here yet we one not being utilized near you. There is no point of having 500 mothers delivering in a hospital in town while there is another one with only two deliveries, yet they are both equipped.”– Jackson Mandago, Governor Uasin Gishu County.
The county boss points out that running a maternity unit is costly due to the high level of personnel and equipment needed.
He says it will not be economical for a health facility to run a maternity unit that only registers an average of two deliveries in a month.
“The cost of running maternity is very high. It needs at least two nurses, a clinical officer, and a laboratory. If we are paying salaries for all those people only to wait for two deliveries in a month, then we will be wasting that money.”– Mandago.
The governor is now advising members of the public to always make use of available health facilities to avoid a scenario where the county might be forced to shut them down due to low utilization.
Eldoret town boasts of several health facilities among them the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital’s Riley Mother and Baby Unit where a majority of locals usually prefer to go for deliveries, alongside the County hospital, formerly the Uasin Gishu District Hospital.