MSF steps in to help expectant mothers as doctors' strike continues

Some of the expectant women at the newly opened maternity wing funded by the MSF in Likoni, Mombasa County

Expectant mothers in Mombasa have received relief benefitted from a partnership between the County government and doctors from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), an International emergency medical organisation which opened a free maternity unit in Likoni.
MSF has established a fully equipped maternity and theatre by combining 11 containers (consisting of one 20-foot container and 10-40 feet containers) at Mrima Health Centre in Likoni where expectant mothers have been flocking to receive maternity services since its opening last week.
The maternity unit  with a labor ward, delivery room, post natal ward, operating Theatre and its own patient ward for close examination, laboratory, sterilization room, mini blood bank, patient waiting area among other facilities has been set as ‘temporary maternity structure’ as MSF continues with the construction of a permanent maternity building adjacent to it, to a tune of KES 106 million.
MSF Likoni Field Coordinator, Josephine Masikini said they have conducted 40 deliveries at the maternity unit since January 18th, 2017 and are set to conduct their first caesarian on Friday after receiving validation of the operating theatre.
She said that the temporary maternity unit, which cost KES 17 million has four permanent doctors, four nurses and 22 midwives while recruitment for four lab technicians, four anaesthetics among other non-medical staff is still ongoing.
 
“We came up with this container structure after realising that construction of the maternity building will take long yet we want to offer emergency services.
“We have already admitted one woman who is going to be the first to deliver through caesarian section at this maternity unit on Friday,” said Ms Masikini during a tour of the maternity unit on Thursday.
Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH), whose newborn unit has been functioning full time during the strike with two doctors, a pediatrician, pediatric medical officer, pediatrician from Kenya Navy and nurses, handles pre-term babies from the MSF maternity unit who do not yet have incubators.
Masikini said the project is also a huge relief to women who reside in Likoni and need urgent CS delivery but encounter numerous challenges when crossing the Ferry channel to the mainland to access CPGH.
Meanwhile, Mombasa County Health Chief Officer, Dr Khadija Shikelly said that despite the ongoing doctors’ strike, clinical officers and nurses are working and all dispensaries are open.
She vowed to work closely with the international health organization so that Mombasa residents and especially women and children can get quality health services.
 

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