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Pumwani: Board probes deaths of 5 infants

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By ELIZABETH MERAB
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The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) has raised questions over the circumstances under which five babies admitted at Pumwani Maternity Hospital died.

These are part of what the KMPDB boss Daniel Yumbya confirmed to be 12 dead infants contrary to the figure given by the hospital as six.

A total of 12 babies died between September 12 and 17, five of whom died under unclear circumstances at the hospital, the KMPDB report said.

While releasing a preliminary report on the facility, KMPDB said the five babies, who had been admitted at the country’s premier maternity hospital, succumbed due to what he described as ‘different complications’.

He said the board will critically investigate the deaths to know the circumstances under which they occurred.

He also explained that three babies were delivered already dead while four died within 24 hours of life.

The board also questioned why the hospital ferries dead bodies to the City Mortuary using ambulances meant to respond to emergency cases.

Mr Yumbya said that it was not only unacceptable but also unhygienic and ironic that whereas the hospital lacks enough ambulances to respond to emergency cases, it uses the available vehicles for corpses.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s impromptu visit to the hospital has over the last couple of days brought into the limelight questions on the management and daily operations of the hospital, with many asking if there is adequate budget provisions for operations.

“It is true that the facility lacks a cold room for storing bodies. Infection prevention and hygiene control measures are not also adequately adhered to,” Mr Yumbya said.

To temporarily address the situation, Mr Sonko pledged to donate 10 cooler boxes to Pumwani.

“As we plan for immediate improvement of maternal care at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, I have personally donated cooler boxes to be installed in a temporary mortuary at the facility,” Mr Sonko tweeted on Thursday.

Now, the board wants to know how he got hold of those boxes. According to Mr Yumbya, the board will investigate where Mr Sonko got the boxes.

“Is it that the facility he retrieved those boxes from had more than enough or he created a gap by depleting the resources in that facility he got them from?” Mr Yumbya asked.

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The findings show the facility has poor patient documentation. This means a patient’s progress like daily monitoring while at the hospital is missing.

“What we found out was that a patient is seen at admission and the next record shows delivery. We have taken certain files for scrutiny and all those involved in the patient management shall be called to give an account of what went wrong,” he added.

The released inquiry findings were compiled by joint regulatory bodies following Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki’s directive for the board to probe the hospital.

The inquiry was headed by Prof Alice Mutungi, Vice Chairperson of KMPDB and a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology.

The findings also show that there are only two functional theatres, with only one operating 24 hours while the other opens its doors at 8am and shuts by 2pm.

“The third theatre is not properly equipped and not operational,” said Mr Yumbya.

The joint inquiry committee members drawn from the KMPDB, Nursing Council of Kenya, Clinical Officers Council, the Public Health Officers Council and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board visited the institution, interviewed hospital management, and perused through patient notes among other documents.

Mr Yumbya highlighted that Pumwani does not have enough nurses, doctors, and even clinical officers.

He said beginning next week on Thursday, the board will conduct a systems audit which will compare the staff versus patient ratios across different hospitals to determine what additional staff Pumwani requires to hire.

County Health Committee members on Thursday claimed that conflict between nurses and doctors was the main problem affecting the hospital functions.

Led by Roysambu MCA and chairman of the committee, they claimed that each side is working to sabotage the other hence the problems at Pumwani.

However, led by their union, the nurses dismissed the allegation saying their working condition is poor and they have to make do with the inadequate hospital equipment to deliver babies.



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Suluhu: Closer ties for Kenya and Tanzania

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?President Samia Suluhu’s address to Parliament was a masterclass in charm, punctuated by periodic applause and stomping of feet by Kenyan lawmakers.

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Covid-19 deaths, hospitalizations soar among youth in Americas – KBC

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Hospitalizations and deaths of younger people are surging as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across Latin America and the Caribbean, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa Etienne said on Wednesday.

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“Adults of all ages – including young people – are becoming seriously ill. Many of them are dying,” Etienne said at her daily press briefing as quoted in a PAHO release.

In Brazil, mortality rates doubled among those younger than 39, quadrupled among those in their 40s, and tripled for those in their 50s, between December 2020 and March 2021, she said.

“For much of the pandemic, our hospitals were filled with elderly COVID patients, many of whom had pre-existing conditions that made them more susceptible to severe disease,” Etienne said. “But look around intensive care units across our region today. You’ll see they’re filled not only with elderly patients, but also with younger people.”

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Etienne urged hospitals in the region to increase the size of intensive care units (ICU) in anticipation that the trend will continue, while warning that expansion of ICUs cannot continue indefinitely.

As a result, she urged nations to double down on prevention measures such as lockdowns and facemasks.

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Uhuru wa biashara, Suluhu ya vikwazo: How Kenya-Tanzania trade will be streamlined

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President Uhuru Kenyatta with his Tanzania counterpart Samia Suluhu, who is on a two-day state visit in Kenya.[PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta says ministers from both Kenya and Tanzania should resolve all non-tariff barriers and other restrictions affecting the two countries within four months.
Uhuru, on Wednesday said going forward, there will be no business visa or work permits for Tanzanian wishing to do business in the country.
“You are free to come and trade here in Kenya, there will be no business visas or work permits as long as you abide by the laws of the land,” he said.
Uhuru was speaking during the Kenya-Tanzania Investment Forum at Serena hotel. The forum was in line with President Samia Suluhu’s two-day state visit.
Kenya has about 513 companies doing business in Tanzania compared to Tanzania’s 30 in Nairobi.
Uhuru said in the next two weeks, concerned ministers from both sides should clear all the traffic jams at the Taveta and Namanga border points.
Uhuru said they should pay a special focus to the issuance of Covid-19 certificates to ease the movement of  transit cargo.
“I direct that all the maize lying at the border be cleared in two weeks. We cannot subject businesses to more suffering,” Uhuru said.

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Uhuru urged the ministers to move swiftly and ensure the ease of doing business at the border pointswas decisively tackled.
“It is not about wearing suits and meeting over tea.Get to the ground and understand what is affecting those traders. Don’t just sit in those offices. If you need to consult, do it and get the work done,” he said.
Uhuru’s sentiments came shortly after the Kenya Business Community nsaid it was ready to trade with the Tanzanian business community.
Led by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce (KNCC), the community proposed the formulation of a Joint Business Council that will support the two countries.
KNCC President Fred Ngatia said the council would play a key role in addressing issues that bedevil  Nairobi-Dar trade,
The community said there should be policy forums and investment-focused events that will target small-scale enterprises.
“We are going to focus more on economic projects by identifying favourable financing institutions that will help us settle some of the commercial disputes affecting our community,” Ngatia said.
He said this will be made possible through the Public-Private Partnerships offered by the government.
As a result, KNCC in partnership with the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce will host a trade and investment exhibition in Dar es Salaam this August aiming to help SMEs unlock their potential.
So far Trade and Agriculture ministers from the two sides have had a breakfast meeting and agreed to initiate bilateral discussion before the end of the month.
Trade CS Betty Maina said the discussions aim to iron out all issues that have been hampering trade between the two countries.
This includes issues surrounding maize import.
President Samia Suluhu said her government was ready to serve as a bridge to pave way for businesses between the two countries to thrive.
“It is not about competing and complicating things, but about developing business relationships to allow both parties to explore opportunities,” she said.
Suluhu said while Tanzania is rich with natural resources and tourist attractions, Kenya is thriving in the ICT world and thus the need for exchange of skills on research and development.
“Muna bahati sana maanake upande mmoja mnao Uhuru wa kufanya biashara na upande mwingine Suluhu la kuondoa vikwazo,” Suluhu said.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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