By Reuben Olita
Improved delivery of health care services and infrastructural development are key factors in encouraging expectant mothers in Busia County to deliver in public hospitals.
Statistics from the Kenya Health Information System (KHIS) indicate that skilled delivery has increased from 52.4 per cent in July 2016-June 2017 to 65.3 per cent in July 2020-June 2021.
Busia Chief Officer for Health and Sanitation, Dr Isaac Omeri attributed the positive trend to increased and improved health facilities, enhanced workforce and outreaches by caregivers including Community Health Volunteers (CHVs).
Other factors listed to have attracted expectant mothers to opt for hospital delivery include motivation to mothers through incentives such as mama packs provided vide Transforming Health Systems
He added that CHVs have played a significant role in ensuring that women of child bearing age understand the importance of attending ante-natal clinics for consistent check-ups and medical attention.
Previously, expectant mothers resorted to delivering at home through traditional birth attendants due to challenges ranging from high cost of medication and difficulty in transportation, a situation that resulted to maternal and neonatal mortality.
Ruth Atieno, a mother of five who gave birth to two children at home and three in hospital said from experience it is safer to deliver in health facilities which have professionals to handle arising complications for the benefit of the mother and child.
“The importance of giving birth in hospitals is that children are also immunized to protect them against diseases,” said Atieno who gave birth at the Busia County Referral Hospital (BCRH).
Her remarks were echoed by Priscilla Omuse, a resident of Burumba in Busia who delivered a third child at the BCRH, stressing the need for expectant mothers to consider the appeal to give birth in health facilities.
Busia Deputy Governor, HE Moses Mulomi who doubles up as the Health Executive said the construction of modern maternity and new born units in various health facilities across the County has enabled expectant mothers to access medical and maternal health services.
“Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’s administration has strived to bring services closer to the locals by ensuring that public hospitals have modern facilities including maternity, theatres, laboratories, wards, equipment and increased staff,” he said.
H.E Mulomi said the completion of the state of the art Maternity and New Born Unit at the BCRH and the Mother and Child Hospital at Alupe will boost maternal and child healthcare services.
He further reiterated that several dispensaries and health centres have been lined up for upgrading with the aim of expanding service provision.
The facilities once upgraded will offer round the clock services as well as increase the number of safe deliveries in the County.