• Health department chief officer Newton Wambugu said the move will also prevent pregnancy-related emergencies that happen at night.
• The department has already processed the documents using data of all pregnant women in its possession and cleared them (passes) with the police.
The Nyeri government has started issuing curfew passes to expectant women to enable them to access health services at anytime.
Health chief officer Newton Wambugu said the move will help address pregnancy-related emergencies that happen at night.
He said the passes are being issued at health facilities, where the women attend prenatal clinics.
“We don’t want a situation whereby women go into labour but cannot go to hospital. We don’t want births at home or any related emergencies that happen at night because you know, naturally, most labour happens at night for whatever reasons,” Wambugu said.
The department has sent SMSs to all Nyeri residents so that it is passed to the targeted group.
“All pregnant women in Nyeri should collect a curfew pass in the facility where they attend clinic. This will enable them to get health services during curfew hours,” the message reads.
Wambugu added, “But the reason we sent a message to all Nyeri residents is because sometimes we may not be able to reach out to all the mothers. We have called them but some thought it was just a joke.”
The department has already processed the passes using data of all pregnant women in its possession and had them stamped by the police.
The chief officer said those to be issued with the document, to begin with, are 2,063 women in the third trimester (the last three months) of their pregnancies.
He said the process will continue until the time the curfew is lifted.
There have been cases of home deliveries as a result of the ongoing curfew but their exact number could not be immediately established.
“That's why we don't want to take chances,” Wambugu said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on March 27 as one of the measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
He later made the first extension of the curfew on 25 April for 21 days and made the second on Saturday 16 May for another 21 days.
Edited by A.N