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Pumwani nurses fault workload, consultants for child deaths

Pumwani Maternity Hospital. /FILE
Pumwani Maternity Hospital. /FILE

Nurses at Pumwani Maternity Hospital have said they are overwhelmed by work resulting in the high mortality rate of newborn babies.

They accused the hospital's

consultants of failing in their work.

"We need assistance and consultants should take responsibility to aid our hospital.

From September 14 to today, there have been 126 cesarean section deliveries, 83 were elective (alternative to natural birth) and the consultants have only done five." one of the nurses told the media.

Consultants are supposed to run the second theatre because the first one is overloaded, said the medics.

"Without the second theatre running there is a workload on cesarean sections in the labour ward, therefore, causing a backlog of mothers in labour wards," the nurses said.

"Sometimes it takes even two weeks before for emergency CS to be done."

The nurses said they receive a high number of patients since they are a referral hospital.

"There is higher mortality rate because we receive patients from all over Nairobi," nurses said.

"When nurses from other hospitals see they cannot deliver their patients they bring them here."

On the 11 bodies that were found at the hospital on Monday by Governor Mike Sonko, the nurses

said

they transport babies' bodies in boxes to City Mortuary.

They defended themselves, saying the bodies found had accumulated from last week on Friday.

"We transport dead babies on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We missed transport on Friday and Monday," they said.

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They said from September 12, there were 224 deliveries, four in which the infants died of unitary deaths (born alive but die due to circumstances).

Two died from

a brain injury after prolonged labour while two others were born prematurely.

Another four died as a result of stillbirth.

However, they said one was brought in dead from another health facility and did not have a tag.

They also said before any body

disposal, a file is signed by the mother and the next of kin.

"Babies are never separated from the mothers. The only circumstance where that happens is when we are doing resuscitation which is a life-saving procedure and when the baby is sick, they are taken to the newborn unit for treatment."

The nurses, however, acknowledged the issue of mismanagement of deliveries is something that has been ongoing in the hospital for a long time.

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