Opinion

Hire more nurses to help prevent mom, child deaths

Thursday, July 11th, 2024 03:00 | By
Hire more nurses to help prevent mom, child deaths. PHOTO/Print
Hire more nurses to help prevent mom, child deaths. PHOTO/Print

Intensive deliberations at the just-ended Pan African Nurse Anaesthetists Conference in Nairobi prescribed the hiring of such nurses to curb mother and infant deaths. 

Reviewing studies conducted in dispensaries, health centres, and major hospitals, delegates observed that well-staffed hospitals reported better maternal and child health outcomes.

Anaesthetic nurses provide pain medication (anaesthesia) care for patients before, during, and after surgery. 

They administer medications to keep patients asleep or pain-free during surgery and constantly monitor every biological function of the patient’s body, thereby helping the health of patients, mothers and infants to improve at a faster rate.

Delegates lamented that with just six years before 2030, progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 3.1 had stagnated. 

In addition to challenges in accessing healthcare, the unavailability of anaesthetic nurses at health facilities made it difficult for health professionals to detect abnormal vital signs in acutely unwell patients, leading to maternal and neonatal deaths. 

This is why the government must adopt policies that promote recruitment, retention, fair pay and equitable distribution.

 — Mary Mungai is the Patron of the Association of Registered Nurse Anaesthetists-Kenya                            

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