Oserian upgrades health centre

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Mary Kinyua, Oserian Director of Administration, Michael Gidney the Chief Executive Officer of Faitrade Foundation and an Oserian medical officer at the upgraded Oserian Health Centre

Flower grower Oserian Development Company has installed new medical equipment to improve services at its medical centre in Naivasha.

The CT Scanner and a dental unit are now available for staff who will no longer be referred to Naivasha town for the vital services, said the centre administrator Erastus Mugo.

The two newest additions are part of the company’s grand plans to improve vital services in preparation for increased requirement for health facilities as it develops its business park.

“As the Oserian business park takes shape we expect an increase in population and a higher demand for medical services for which we want o be ready for”, said Ms Mary Kinyua, Human Resources and Administration Director.

The CT Scanner is critical in maternal health, Mugo said disclosing that the machine is able to accurately tell when an expectant mother will deliver as well as inform attendants of the status of the foetus and the mother.

“One of the challenges we have had here is getting the expected date of delivery right as well as identify possible difficulties without referring patients to Naivasha”, an elated Mugo said.

Jacinta Njoki, a mother of two who is expecting her third child in two months is excited the CT Scanner has been installed at the farm. All her pregnancies have given her scares, she said, and she has severally been referred for scans at Naivasha Hospital.

She was among the first patients attended to and says the scanner confirmed the expected date of delivery the Naivasha General Hospital gave. She narrated the challenges of travelling to Naivasha where there is always a long queue as it serves many people, compared with the short time it takes for the same service to be administered at the Oserian health centre. “ I am glad pregnant mothers no longer need to take long distances travelling all the way and queuing for hours”, he said.

The dental unit is an exciting development at the health centre considering Naivasha has a challenge of teeth decoloration and other water-related complications, and will also save the company time spent in referrals when patients require specialized dental services.

His sentiments were echoed by Ms Kinyua who says the service will save mothers and the company from the agony and time of travelling for hours to and from Naivasha.

This development come in the wake of another facelift Oserian gave the health centre last December when Ksh 4 million was spent on repairing floors, painting and linen. The improvement included refurbishing the Creche.

Ms Kinyua said the improvements have been made possible through the farm’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme and are offered free of charge to staff.

The best known facility at Oserian Health Centre is the Creche, or the daycare center for babies aged up to three years. It was started more than 30 years ago by the founders to take care of employees babies considering the 48% female workforce is within the productive age.

Apart from giving new mothers peace of mind in the knowledge their infants are well fed and safe, it is also an insurance for future generations.

It has a capacity of 100 toddlers, where they are taken care of by trained attendants and strategically positioned near the health centre and the workers housing estate for proximity to medical care in case of emergencies. The personnel include a matron, nutritionist, child attendants and kitchen staff.

The Crèche offers nutritional food which is offered by the company free of charge including milk for older babies.

Nursing mothers allowed at least one hour company time to visit crèches and breast feed their babies; Allocation of duties close to the Creche.

The Oserian Creche has been identified by UNICEF- as Kenyan model for Showcase of Good Breastfeeding Practices at the work place as well as the Ministry of Health – Division of Nutrition – A model of excellence and training center for the establishment of similar facilities and the ILO for Support of Gender policy through provision of ML/ BFP & Crèche Services

According to Ms Kinyua, the Health Centre is an all inclusive department with the medical service, crèche and an Early Childhood Education Centre where young children are taken care of until they join primary school.

After primary they join high school, go on for higher education and join the labour face. About 2,000 students are schooling in the Oserian educational facilities.

“We have here children born, raised, educated and now are employed at the farm making Oserian the only home they know”, she said.

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