Residents of Gatanga Sub-County, Murang’a County, often struggled to hire taxis to carry patients to referred health facilities, in case of emergencies, since the health facility did not have an ambulance. However, this changed after the community got engaged and demanded an ambulance for from the county government.
A Community Score Card (CSC) was undertaken on Kirwara Sub-District, situated in the sub-county from November 2017. The tern CSC members were trained on the procedure and how to interface with duty bearers by Catholic Diocese of Murang’a (CDM), an Implementing Partner of Uraia Trust. One of the most challenging issues that emerged from the ecercise was referral of patients, especially during emergencies. They were being referred to Maragua health Centre or Murang’a Level Four Hospital, but they have to seek means of transport, especially in cases of emergencies. In most cases, they had to hire taxis to get them to the referred health facilities. Previously, the hospital had an ambulance which was later relocated to another facility.
After conducting the CSC and sharing the report with the county government, the hospital was given an ambulance in June 2018. The vehicle is of great help to the hospital and the community. “We are happy with the progress so far and hope with the management of the hospital and county government continues to improve on service delivery. The ambulance will be of great help to us in case of emergencies,” said Lydia Wanjiku, the Chairperson of CSC. Currently, the facility is in a position to move patients, in case of emergency cases for them to receive the much -needed care. The community is able to save money they used to spend on taxi hire and on medical services.
Patients are taken to hospitals within the county, and not outside the county like it was before. Most patients who were referred to a hospital within the county would go to Thika Level Five Hospital (in a different county), since it was nearer, and the cost was lower compared to going to Murang’a Level Four Hospital, over 15 kilometres away.
Expectant mothers are happy since they can now use the ambulance to take them to a referred hospital. Initially when there could be complications during child birth they could hire a taxi to take them to Thika Level 5 Hospital.
The score card committee has 10 members who went through training and were scoring on service delivery for Kirwara Sub-district. Many other changes also been realised and among them include: appointment of a new board, hospital administrator, change of some staffs from their work stations to other station within the facility and the county government has allocated KSh70 million ($700, 000) for completion of the stalled building at the facility, which has been pending for more than four years. “The scoring of the services that we lender to this community was an eye opener because sometimes we work without thinking of the impact we leave in the minds many. The interface meeting was also very good since we got to hear and interact with the community and am glad that we got an opportunity to share together,” said Dr Christine Wangai, the nurse in charge.
The ambulance given to the hospital in June 2018
Scorecard meeting in progress at the facility
Scorecard meeting in the field