A Nairobi County Assembly committee report has revealed the poor state of affairs at Mama Lucy Level Four Hospital.
The revelation comes at a time when another county hospital, Pumwani Maternity Hospital, has been making headlines over the discovery of bodies of infants, mismanagement and understaffing.
The Health Services Committee report has laid bare the sorry state and challenges faced by Mama Lucy Hospital which include congestion of patients, lack of adequate equipment, and inefficient management policies and procedures.
The hospital also suffers inadequate facilities and staffing besides demoralised staff.
The report, tabled before the assembly on Wednesday by the committee’s chairman Peter Warutere, said that the hospital has a bed capacity of 112 which is not enough for a level four hospital.
The hospital that is meant to serve approximately one million residents living in the Eastland’s parts of Nairobi has a mortuary but can only handle eight bodies.
However, there is a proposal of putting up a cooler, subject to allocation of funds, which can take up to 50 bodies.
“There are three theatres with inadequate staffing. In case of power blackouts, the theatres rely on power from a generator which keeps on breaking down and hence [it is] unreliable,” read the report prepared following an inspection visit at the hospital by the committee.
The report also revealed that the maternity section of the hospital, which handles up to 40 deliveries a day, with an average of 24 being normal deliveries while the rest are done through caesarean section, has only one gynaecologist against the requirement of four needed for the unit to operate efficiently.
At the same time, up to three mothers who deliver at the hospital share a bed sometimes and due to the congestion, mothers are discharged after only eight hours instead of the recommended 24 hours.
“The committee was stunned to find at the rear of the maternity, just separated by a few meters, a room meant to be a classroom had been turned into a male ward. It was more disturbing to learn that this was the only male ward at the hospital with a bed capacity of nine males,” said Mr Warutere.
The report also revealed that the hospital’s paediatric unit – for children under five years and their mothers – lacks a paediatric officer and had only two nurses.
This is despite the fact that the unit serves an estimated 24,000 patients in a month and about 500 children a day.
On the other hand, the paediatric inpatient ward has a new-born unit with only four incubators and five baby cots and only two rooms for medical or surgical patients.
The accident and emergency unit’s surgical orthopaedic department has a shortage of staff and lacks a motorised machine to attend to patients.
“There was no general ward for women, no functional ambulance at the time and there was low morale among staff due to allegations of incompetence, harassment, tribalism and nepotism by the top management,” said the Roysambu MCA.
The hospital also had no store for drugs, forcing the management to improvise cargo containers as makeshift stores.
This is because a warehouse, under construction, has stalled due to the transition challenges faced by county governments.
“The blood, urine and stool tests section has 14 lab technicians whereas they require 25 to operate effectively and be able to conduct the range of eight tests. Currently, they do half of the required eight tests and for the other tests, they refer patients to other labs,” read the report.
The committee has recommended that the maternity bed capacity be increased, a psychiatrist unit be established, staff salaries be harmonised and a new-born emergency unit be established.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.