Agony as expectant mothers at JM Kariuki Hospital forced to share beds


Agony as expectant mothers at JM Kariuki Hospital forced to share beds

Anguish and pain are what expectant and newborn mothers are going through at the JM Kariuki Memorial Hospital in Nyandarua County.

The hospital, which is the largest medical facitily in the region, is located in Ol-Kalou town.

A spot-check revealed that the facility is experiencing an overwhelming surge of expectant women, a situation that is also characterised by delays in discharging patients.

Majority of the women were yet to be discharged apparently as a result of unavailability of the authorised clinical officer.

This has resulted in patients sharing beds while others have been forced to sit on chairs so that their infants have somewhere to sleep.

When Citizen Digital visited the facility, some of the women were writhing in pain on their beds and even on the floor.

Some of the patients who spoke on condition of anonymity said had expected to be discharged but were yet to be released since the only person authorized to to clear them has been out of office.

Guidelines from the Ministry of Health require that any mother who delivers normally is discharged at least after 24 hours if she is in good health.

The patients recounted tales of agony having to deliver their newborns amidst these conditions.

Others claimed they were being neglected by nurses at the maternity wing and further alluded to mismanagement of the facility.

The JM Kariuki Memorial Hospital has only one maternity ward which handles all referral cases.

Expectant mothers referred from health centres and dispensaries from Nyandarua North region that covers Ndaragwa, Milangine, Ol-Joro Orok and Ol-Kalou.

“…these mothers need to be monitored after delivery,” said Mary Wanja, who had taken her expectant daughter for delivery last week.

She claimed that other patients watched her daughter helplessly as she called for nurses on duty but they allegedly ignored them.

Reports indicate that she eventually she delivered on the same bed and the nurses on duty came afterwards to check on the newborn.

One of the nurses who spoke on condition anonymity claimed the hospital was understaffed adding that the maternity wing was the most affected.

Efforts to get comments from the hospital management were not successful at the time the story was published.

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Story By Peter Mwangi
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