Kasikeu Health Centre is a small health facility serving up to 5,000 people in the local area. The centre received support from Amref Health Africa UK’s project to renovate the maternity facilities, including provision of equipment and a new maternity bed. Amref also provided additional support to integrate water and sanitation facilities at the health facility, installing a new water tank, toilets and hot water showers, making skilled delivery safer and protecting women from infection.
Serah Ngusie is 29 years old. She is one of two nursing officers in charge at Kasikeu Health Centre, Makueni. Sereh has worked at the health facility for six years and has seen a lot of changes during this time.
“When Amref arrived here in 2012, it was great. They trained Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and increased the community awareness of the service we provided. Previously we never used to do deliveries here but this has changed. After the training, the CHVs gave expectant mothers information on the importance of hospital delivery and attending for ante natal classes. When women come for these visits they are told about how it is unsafe to deliver at home, why they should deliver at the facility.”
On a typical day, Serah can see up to ten women in the antenatal clinic, one pregnant mother and 15 children under the age of five.
“The hardest part of my job is the long hours. I work all day and then I am up all night tending to pregnant mothers. But the situation here has improved drastically. Before, people used to stay at home. They get sick and didn’t they come to the hospital until they were sometimes past the point of help. But now our trained CHV’s have warned mothers about the danger signs of illnesses. When a child has a fever, they just refer immediately, they don’t try and treat at home. If a child has diarrhoea, they bring them to the hospital. If a baby is born at home, the mother brings them to the hospital immediately. They have stopped those traditional practices like removing teeth, and they have also passed on the importance of good hygiene and hand washing.”
“Amref has really helped us. Now, the mothers are comfortable in this health facility because they have privacy and space. We have moved to a new maternity block with showers and hot water. We have constant water running, which makes it easier to control infection and we have much more knowledge on pregnancy and childbirth. Now we can look look after the mother and the baby to make sure deliveries are safe for everyone."