The Aga Khan University’s Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, East Africa (CoEWCH EA) has handed over health equipment valued at KES 2 million to Pumwani Maternity Hospital to strengthen the hospital’s capacity to provide comprehensive essential maternity and newborn care.
The handover of the equipment comes following the recently concluded COVID-19 in pregnancy study, funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO), led by CoEWCH EA in collaboration with Pumwani Maternity Hospital and Aga Khan University Hospital, which sought to determine if Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-COV-2) infection during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse pregnancy, perinatal, neonatal, and postpartum outcomes by collecting data from women infected with SARS-COV-2.
“As a government, we are pleased to see that research is improving quality of care in facilities and data is being used to make decisions. This handover ceremony is also contributing to the goal of Universal Health Care for all Kenyans by 2030 which includes the scaling up of maternal and child health,” said Hon. Geofrey Mosiria, Nairobi County Chief Officer for Health Facilities Management.
“The study will help to develop recommendations on the surveillance, management, and counselling of women during and after pregnancy as well as their babies in the context of a pandemic. The findings from the study will also help to inform public health measures on infectious diseases and prevention measures and future research protocols,” said Prof Marleen Temmerman, Director of the Aga Khan University’s Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, EA and Principal Investigator of the WHO COVID-19 in pregnancy study.
Pregnant women are among vulnerable groups susceptible to respiratory infections placing them at high risk of contracting COVID-19 which can lead to severe illness creating a need for intensive care unit admission and ventilator requirement.
“At Pumwani Maternity Hospital, we value quality of care which relies heavily on research. Since our established a relationship with Aga Khan University, we have been passionate about studies that accelerate training and research on maternal and child care. We are therefore grateful to our partners for this equipment that will be especially helpful at the point of care,” said Christine Kiteshu, Pumwani Maternity Hospital CEO.
The equipment consists of an ultrasound machine, a fridge, and a printer. The ultrasound machine will be used in antenatal care to assess foetal development, gestational age, foetal position, and number of foetuses. It also supports CoEWCH EA’s quest to encourage early ultrasound screening for all pregnant women as part of its commitment to implement the WHO antenatal care guideline of at least one ultrasound exam during pregnancy, best done before 24 weeks. This was also one of the commitments called for during the regional launch of the Lancet Series on Small Vulnerable Newborns (SVN) held in Nairobi on September 19, 2023.