Counties, state should prevent maternal deaths, says Ongwae

By: WAMBUGU KANYI

KISII Governor James Ongwae has urged the national and county governments to put more emphasis on prevention than on cure.

He said maternal mortality and deaths related to waterborne diseases should be averted because they are preventable.

Ongwae spoke on Friday at Kagumo Teachers College, Nyeri, during the 29th Kenya Progressive Nurses Association conference.

He urged nurses to ask their governors to improve healthcare at the counties.

Ongwae, the chairman of Human Resource, Labour and Social Welfare Committee in the Council of Governors, said health has improved since governors took charge.

He cited the increase of level four and five hospitals countrywide.

“Governors value devolution. We have been demonised because of fighting for devolution, which we have vowed to protect,” Ongwae said.

He condemned strikes and demonstrations by workers in various counties and called for dialogue to solve conflicts.

“Workers should first seek positive dialogue with their employers before resorting to strikes,” Ongwae said.

He urged counties to support each other in administration of services to reduce the high wage bill.

“Referral hospitals have increased and some do not have ICUs. Special services and specialists at referral hospitals should be shared among neighbouring counties to decongest the Kenyatta National Hospital,” Ongwae said.

Nurses said some county officials discriminate against and harass health workers who are not from the counties they work in.

They also raised concern over salary delays and lack of promotions.

KPNA chairman Thaddeus Mayaka said some nurses have stagnated in one job group for more than 15 years despite upgrading their education.