Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has pledged the government’s commitment to support and improve child survival outcomes in the country in line with the universal healthcare agenda.
Speaking on Thursday at the Pumwani Maternity hospital, during celebrations to mark the world prematurity day, the health CS said the ministry of health has developed a host of interventions aimed at improving the survival and health of new-borns.
“Preventing deaths among babies born too soon is a public health priority. The most urgent action is to prevent, diagnose and manage preterm births. We have solutions to improve the survival and health of vulnerable preterm and low birth weight babies.” Said Nakhumicha.
She said high-impact interventions such as Kangaroo Mother Care for the management of preterm and low birth weight babies, use of corticosteroids in management of premature labour and use of Chlorhexidine Digluconate 7.1% gel are some of the interventions that have been key in the prevention of neonatal sepsis that have greatly helped in saving preterm babies.
“In order to ensure our preterm babies, thrive and survive, the Ministry of Health through the Department of Family Health has managed to scale up Kangaroo Mother Care centers across the 47 counties and established Pumwani maternity hospital as the Regional Training center/ hub for Kangaroo Mother Care.” Noted the CS.
The CS also launched the Comprehensive New-born Care Protocol and Revised Guidelines on the application of Chlorhexidine Digluconate 7.1% on new-born umbilical cord, which she said demonstrates the Ministry’s commitment to the survival and health of new-borns.
In Kenya, the preterm birth rate is 12% translating to 193,000 babies being born premature each year while about 13,300 children under five dies due to direct preterm complications.
During the ceremony, the CS took the chance to tour the hospital and lauded the administration for improving maternal health outcomes that has seen the facility record zero maternity deaths in the past 10 months.
She was accompanied by Acting Head, Directorate of Preventive and Promotive health services Dr. Andrew Mulwa, Nairobi deputy governor James Muchiri, alongside representatives of partner organisations and other senior officials from the ministry of health.