Expectant mothers in Kericho who deliver their babies at the county hospitals’ maternity wards, will not only walk home with their bundles of joy, but also Sh2,000 from Governor Paul Chepkwony.
In a bid to promote healthy child birth at medical facilities as opposed to home deliveries, which are risky and common in the county, the Council of Governor’s gender, sports, culture and social services chairman will require mothers who prefer traditional birth attendants to pay him Sh2,000, if caught.
“All the expectant mothers in the county must deliver in our health facilities. I will give a reward of Sh2,000 to every expectant mother who delivers in the county hospitals maternity wards. Those who will prefer traditional birth attendants, if discovered, will be required to give me a similar amount of money a fine,” said Chepkwony.
The governor who, popularly known as Timbilwet, made the remarks at the Kericho County Hospital during the ground breaking ceremony for 64-slice Computed Tomography imaging services centre.
Chepkwony, argued that if all the expectant mothers take the safe route, it would reduce maternal and child mortality rate.
The governor made the announcement as his administration gears for the construction of an ultramodern maternity wing after members of the Sikh Community raised Sh10 million for the construction of the facility at the Kericho county hospital.
Kericho is the location of the largest Sikh temple in Kenya. The county is of great significance to the community since it was the home of Sant Singh, the founder of the faith in Kenya.
Kericho’s Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha representative Sijkbir Singh Bhogal said part of the money was raised by 20 volunteers from the United Kingdom, who organised a charity event that involved scaling Mt Kilimanjaro.
“The vision of his Holiness Baba Ji is to transform Kericho County hospital into an ultramodern medial facility,” he said. Kericho Deputy County Governor, Susan Kikwai said the maternity construction was set to begin by July.
“The plan for the maternity wing is for a multi-storey building so that in the future more floors can be added to it,” she said, adding that the sponsors were going to provide an additional Sh10 million for the construction of the maternity wing.
“We are going to construct the maternity wing in conjunction with the Nishkam on a matching fund basis,” said the Deputy Governor.
Governor Chepkwony at the same time ordered the county health executive Dr Shadrach Mutai to ensure that all children under the age of five are immunised against communicable diseases.