The worst thing is reading from a newspaper, about a maternity hospital being closed.
Not just any maternity hospital, but the largest and busiest maternity hospital in East and Central Africa.
It means that 60 – 80 women, daily are not getting the medical care, even when the system offers it for free. 10 – 15 of these are emergency cases that require C-Sections. Daily.
We can’t vilify the council workers who are on strike. They have to fight for their salaries, what have been broken promise after broken promise over pay.
But you and I cannot wait to read another story in the press about a mother who died while giving birth because she could not access free medical care at Pumwani Hospital. It cannot be our continuing statistic when strikes happen. We cannot let a mother die and leave a family motherless, because chances are, she has other children at home.
By the time a woman turns up at the gates of Pumwani to seek medical help to deliver her baby, she is likely nearly in the final stage of labour. Which means that the baby is on its way. She can’t be turned away at the gate to find a taxi (if she can afford it) or a matatu (which will allow her onboard, knowing how messy birth is).
With #BabyRescue we are working to save two lives who did not choose this particular set of circumstances to be born in. These are Nairobi women in our city, in our country.
You don’t have to sit and be frustrated with the system because in this moment it has failed the women. You don’t have to fail them.
I am a mother and had it not been for the doctor who attended to me, I would be dead. I was that emergency case. Only that I could afford a hospital that does not close over a strike.
With two friends, Dr. Wambui Waithaka a medical doctor who works at Pumwani Hospital and Alice Odera, founder of Pretty Influential, we initiated #BabyRescue
We initiated it, but it is up to all of us to keep it going. We can’t do it alone. You have a part of play. Those women are mothers to be of our babies. Our Kenyan babies.
Let the dialogue continue over long term solutions, but in the meantime, we need to rescue mothers to-be and babies.
The #BabyRescue campaign is about ensuring that mothers in labour who go to Pumwani Maternity to seek medical attention are provided with safe transit to hospitals that are operational.
Stationed outside the hospital on standby is a Kenya Red Cross ambulance. This ambulance is transiting women from the hospital to surrounding hospitals.
The Kenya Red Cross ambulance is supporting the single Pumwani Maternity ambulance that is currently scantily staffed and stretched. The service is at no charge to any woman in need. The charge will be covered by citizens of good will (you and I).
Kenya Red Cross has waived all charges for the paramedics and is only charging the ambulance fees at a rate of Ksh 30000 per day.
The ambulance is just a stop gap temporary measure but so far it has been in the right place and at the right time for mothers in medical emergencies.
To pay for the costs of the ambulance, we set up a Safaricom MPESA Pay bill account.
Pay bill Business no. 939310, Account no. B
Safaricom zero-rated this Pay bill No. so that all the donations we receive from you go directly to #BabyRescue.
Please contribute where you can to keep the ambulance present at the hospital.