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Medics asked to accept reforms to avert preventable maternal deaths

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CHS Principal Prof. James Machoki delivers his address during the opening of UoN/KNH Symposium on Averting Preventable Maternal Deaths.

College of Health Sciences Principal, Prof. James Machoki has called on healthcare providers to reform themselves in order to avert preventable maternal deaths in the country.

Speaking when he officially opened the University of Nairobi (UoN) and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Symposium themed; Averting Preventable Maternal Deaths, Prof. Machoki said there is need for the practitioners to change their attitudes, practice and their culture while handling patients.

The Principal noted teamwork as another key point in reducing the deaths, where all medical practitioners work hand in hand when such cases come up.

He said that mothers play a very critical role in bringing up a family and that everything comes to a standstill when they fall sick.

“When mothers are sick the whole nation is sick,” Prof. Machoki said.

His sentiments were echoed by KNH acting Director Clinical Services Dr. Peter Masinde, who also represented KNH acting CEO Dr. Thomas Mutie at the event.

“When a mother dies it becomes a family crisis and this can be alluded to the fact that she plays an important role not only in a family but also in the society,” Dr. Masinde said.

In a speech by the CEO, read on his behalf by Dr. Masinde, statistics show that a woman dies of complicated childbirth every minute globally, a lifetime risk of dying during pregnancy and childbirth in Africa is 1 in 40 while in Kenya, an estimated 6300 women die each year during pregnancy and childbirth.

He said maternal deaths can be prevented and as a hospital they have laid measures that are aimed at reducing these deaths. The measures taken include access to emergency during delivery, setting up of two maternity theatres at the facility, receiving of expectant mothers in the labour ward and not at the casualty, and training of more midwives to provide services at the facility.

The University of Nairobi, Kenyatta National Hospital and Kenya Medical Training Institute promised to work together towards achieving the big four agenda.

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