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IRCK demands adequate maternity facilities

11 July 2013, 18:12 Samuel Kisika

Religious leaders under the auspices of the Inter religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) have called on the government to ensure adequate provision of maternity facilities in all counties.

Speaking during a press conference dubbed 'Religious' Leaders Message on Free Maternity," Dr. Francis Kuria, the IRCK Executive Director commented President Kenyatta's policy directive of free maternity services to all women.

"We support this presidential directive because we are tired of losing women and newborns due to pregnancy-related causes that are preventable," said Kuria.

Kuria added that the Constitution guarantees every person the right to highest attainable health standards, saying the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 3 commit to Reduction of Child Mortality and improvement of maternal health respectively.

He added that provision of free maternity services would lower infant and maternal mortality as envisioned in Vision 2030 blueprint, and that Jubilee government should fulfill their promise of increasing health financing.

The IRCK also urged the government to ensure every health facility has adequate trained personnel, medical supplies and a theatre to avert deaths related to pregnancy complications before, during and after delivery.

The ICRK Director noted that only five per cent of health facilities in Kenya have the capacity to perform Caesarean operations as indicated in the Government of Kenya's Service Provision Survey 2010.

The ICRK also demanded that every constituency be provided with ambulatory services in the counties.

The group further called on women and their families not to hold on faiths restricting them from seeking medical services either during pregnancy, labour or post partum period to save lives.

"As provided in the Constitution, ICRK holds that it is offensive to restrict one from seeking medical health care because of some faiths that put believers at risk of losing life," said Kuria.

He called on the government to provide civic education to such believers as the ICRK takes the initiative of discussing with heads of those sects.

Regarding the on-going teachers' strike, the ICRK said that the government and other stakeholders should hold fruitful and satisfactory negotiations for the strike to end so that can children go back to school.        

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