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KNH maternity receives influx due to nurses’ strike

Source: The Daily Nation017

By VERAH OKEYO

2nd July 2017

Kenyatta National Hospital’s maternity wing is overwhelmed by mothers who flock the facility due to the ongoing nurses strike, with midwives warning that deaths may arise due to the congestion.

The Nairobi facility, where about 45 children are usually delivered every day, is now handling up to 70 births daily.

Each day, more than 30 women are in the queue awaiting surgery due to complications that arise due to delayed medical care as the nurses’ strike enters the 28th day on Sunday.

The log book in which the hospital records the admissions shows that Ward GFA, one of five, had as many as 104 admissions in 24 hours, much greater that its 50-women capacity.

Ms Nereah Ojanga, senior chief nurse and midwife at KNH, told the Nation: “Some mothers land here after going through the whole process of labour. Some have complications that may endanger them and their babies”.

NONEXISTENT SYSTEM

Mrs Ojanga said with most nurses on strike, even the referral system is nonexistent, exposing women to near-death experiences in any of the four stages of labour.

She explained that nurses usually stay in ambulances to accompany mothers who have developed complications such as eclampsia, a pregnancy-induced blood pressure that has been implicated in more than a third of maternal mortalities in Kenya. Usually, the mother experiences severe headaches and swelling of the hands and feet, which may result in seizures and organ damage.

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