Queries as Sonko plans to build new Pumwani
2 months ago, 23 Sep 00:21
The cat may be finally out of the bag following Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s outbursts about Pumwani Maternity Hospital earlier in the week.
It now turns out that Sonko is about to put ink to paper on a deal to construct a new 10-storey, state-of-the art “Sonko Pumwani Women’s Hospital and College of Nursing and Midwifery”.
In his dramatic style, Sonko unveiled the ambitious plan with an artist’s impression of the planned new-look hospital. The new facility will dwarf Pumwani Hospital built in 1928, which the governor scandalised with baby theft claims earlier in the week.
According to Sonko, Nairobi women will no longer suffer the ignominy of the old Pumwani. A brand new Intensive Care Unit, High Dependency Unit and suites with fully functional ward theatres, will be the hallmark of the new hospital.
“The new 10-storey Sonko Pumwani Maternity Hospital, which will stand side by side with the old hospital, will be comprised of a paediatric ICU, an adult ICU, a HDU, staff quarters, laundry and all necessary facilities,” Sonko posted on Facebook. “The new Sonko Pumwani Hospital whose contract will be signed on 25/9/2018 and groundbreaking on 20/11/2018 is scheduled to be opened in the next two years and is expected to ease congestion at the old hospital,” he added.
Besides Pumwani, the other two major county hospitals, Mama Lucy and Mbagathi, are choking under the weight of inconsistent supply of drugs, acute shortage of doctors and attendant poor services. So bad is the city’s health sector that in less than two months, there have been three health executives in Sonko’s Cabinet.
The first was Hitan Majevdia, who was suspended late July when Sonko discovered hospitals had no drugs “yet the county had released money”. But by then, the county owed the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) over Sh250 million.
It took the intervention of Health Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki during the World Breastfeeding Week to have the supply of drugs reinstated.
“That debt is not ours, that is from former Governor Evans Kidero’s government,” Sonko was heard saying.
Then came the Pumwani Maternity saga this week that claimed then acting executive Vesca Kangogo, who was suspended on Tuesday after she contradicted the governor. In the saga, 12 infant bodies were found stored in medical carton boxes and plastic bags.
The docket is now under Charles Kerich, a confidant of the governor, who says plans to improve the facility are nothing new.
“There were entities like Aga Khan University Hospital which had reached out to Kidero’s administration to help improve Pumwani, but this was not taken up. This artist’s impression is not new, it is about three years old,” said Kerich.
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