Former WBC Super bantamweight champion Fatuma Zarika together with the SportPesa Foundation blessed Kilifi County Teaching and Referral Hospital with a hearty donation on Friday morning.
The hospital, who’s maternity ward has a 51-bed capacity, became the first beneficiary of the SportPesa Foundation’s maternal healthcare program this year.
Delivery beds, patient trolleys, procedure trolleys, patient monitors, pulse oxymeters and vital sign monitors were part of the donation given to the hospital.
The doctors, nurses and medical officers in charge who were present for the ceremony expressed their gratitude and deemed the occasion as very special, thanking the leading gaming firm for it all.
“There are many hardships that a hospital of this kind faces and just the gesture by SportPesa to remember us and offer to help, is a miracle.
“All they have donated to us today will go a long way and we are very grateful for it all,” nurse Janet Rotich stated.
SportPesa Foundation launched its Maternal Health Care support programme in March 2021 to equip the maternity units of needy hospitals across Kenya with an aim of promoting hospital deliveries which are deemed safer.
“We handle a high number of patients and deliveries in the maternity unit. The equipment we have received will help us manage them better because sharing of beds in the maternity ward has been a challenge and poses many risks of hospital acquired infections among our clients,” said the hospital’s Nursing Officer in Charge, Mildred Santa.
The hospital which handles an average 600 deliveries in a month, with over 540 admissions recorded in the month of January alone, records the highest number of deliveries in the county.
“This is a great occasion for the county of Kilifi and this would not have been possible without SportPesa and for that we are very grateful.
“We all have to pull our resources together to achieve our goal of better maternal healthcare, Dr. Bilal Mazoya, Chief Officer of Medical Services stated.
SportPesa brand ambassador Zarika Fatuma, who gave birth while still a teenager, emphasised on the need to reduce teen pregnancy rates in the area further by stepping up family planning sensitization efforts.
“I am here as Zarika to represent all women and early birth may seem like the end of the world, but it is not.
“I also gave birth at an early age and there is so much more to live for, and it begins with initiatives like this. I cannot express how happy and grateful to be a part of it,” the mother of two began.
Zarika said she was inspired to pursue a career in boxing to fend for her baby, a sport that has catapulted her to the global stage. She called on mothers to give birth in hospitals for safer deliveries – a call that resonates with SportPesa Foundation’s maternal healthcare support programme.
“I plead with our young women to seek counsel and support from the government on family planning. Nevertheless, giving birth at a young age should give you the drive to work harder for your children as I have done in my life, rising above the challenges to better their lives,” she concluded.
Last year, SportPesa Foundation donated equipment to several public and mission hospitals in seven counties across the nation.
Homabay, Narok, Kiambu, Meru, Nairobi, Bomet and Tharaka Nithi were the counties that have benefitted from the noble initiative thus far.
The foundation’s representative Esther Kang’ethe said the company will particularly focus on remote and low-income areas to ensure that women get access to maternal healthcare services affordably and faster, without having to travel long distances to access these.
“We have been actively involved in supporting maternal healthcare and this year is off to a great start as we chose Kilifi County to kick start the initiative for 2022.
“The need for these maternal healthcare services is growing by the day and we shall continue to help in all the ways that we can. Together I believe we can change the state in the country and I look forward to the future ,” said Kang’ethe who is the Foundation’s Project Lead.