What you need to know:
- The hospital was converted into a Covid-19 isolation centre in July.
- The move led to suspension of maternity services at the facility.
- Expectant women were referred to the Margaret Kenyatta Mother Baby Wing and the nearby Rhonda Maternity.
- There was an uproar from residents, health experts and activists over the move.
The over 50-year-old Bondeni Maternity Hospital in Nakuru County has started offering services to expectant mothers again after serving as a designated Covid-19 isolation centre for nearly two months.
In July, the Nakuru County government converted the hospital into a Covid-19 isolation centre following fears of a surge in infections in the region.
The move led to suspension of maternity services at the facility which was designed to hold at least 80 Covid-19 patients.
The county health authorities now say a decision to revert the hospital to its original routine was informed by the drop in the number of Covid-19 cases reported in the region and in the country at-large.
"At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the department of health set aside Bondeni Maternity Hospital to serve as an isolation centre. But currently, the number of infections requiring admission in health facilities has significantly dropped and in view of the above, the ward at the Bondeni Maternity earmarked for isolation of Covid-19 patients has reverted to continue offering maternity services," read a statement by the County Health Executive Gichuki Kariuki.
Nakuru has recorded 865 cases of Covid-19 with 409 recoveries so far.
Since March, when the outbreak of the virus was announced, Nakuru has tested 13,224 people.
So far, only nine people are admitted to various hospitals.
In July, Nakuru introduced and domesticated home-based care for asymptomatic patients.
At least 313 patients have been under home-based care.
Officials at the hospital told the Nation that they are slowly picking up and asked expectant mothers to continue visiting the facility.
"We will back to normal services as from next week and I want to urge our clients to come back," said an officer at the hospital who declined to be named.
At the time, the Nakuru County government said it made the decision to convert the facility to a Covid-19 isolation centre as part of a series of efforts aimed at putting in place proper preparations should there be a surge in Covid-19 infections, especially in the slums.
During the period, expectant women were referred to the Margaret Kenyatta Mother Baby Wing at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital and the nearby Rhonda Maternity.
Bondeni Maternity, which before the outbreak of Covid-19 had been revamped into a state-of-the-art hospital, has been serving mothers from various slums including Kivumbini, Lake View, Kwa Rhoda, September, Flamingo, Kaloleni and Bondeni.
Last month, there was an uproar from residents, health experts and activists over the move to convert the hospital into a Covid-19 isolation centre.
Some health experts and activists said the move would erode the gains that have been realised in maternal healthcare in the region.
They claimed the move would put maternal healthcare in Nakuru County at stake as expectant mothers would have to seek for services kilometres away at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital.
Several other health facilities, among them about ten dispensaries and health centres across the 11su-bcounties, had been converted into isolation centres.
The Bondeni Hospital has been in existence since 1952 when it was set up to take care of African women living in the South of the railway line in Nakuru town.