Murang’a County government and the residents of Kambirwa in Kiharu Constituency are embroiled in a row after the county converted a maternity ward at Kambirwa Health Centre into a centre for children with cerebral palsy.
The furious locals have sought the intervention of the Murang’a County Assembly protesting the decision of the executive, saying the pregnant mothers will now have to travel for a longer distance to Murang’a County referral hospital for the services.
In a petition read by the Speaker Nduati Kariuki, the locals have castigated Governor Mwangi Wa Iria’s administration for changing the maternity ward’s use without seeking their views.
“There were no discussions done at the community level to agree or to disagree with this and women are left suffering and have been forced to travel to Murang’a General Hospital which is a longer distance,” the petition signed by 28 residents read.
The said the maternity ward was already complete with incubators, only for the county government to change its use upon its completion.
The locals have also asked the assembly to investigate circumstances under which the executive converted Gikindu Farmers Thailand Training Centre into a rehabilitation centre.
The farmer’s training institute was constructed 13 years ago by the Thai government with the aim of training farmers on the best agricultural practices in the area, which is considered as semi-arid.
The locals said they were relying on the institution to enhance food security and eradicate poverty.
But the county Health Executive Member Joseph Mbai defended the move to change the use of the maternity ward, saying it is meant to help mothers whose children have cerebral palsy.
He at the same time said that the farmers’ training centre would remain while at the same time helping addicts.
“The distance from Kambirwa Health Centre to Murang’a hospital is four kilometres and with a good road network, the pregnant mothers can reach Murang’a without difficulties,” Mr Mbai said.