From a minivan packed with maternity supplies at a church in Githurai and Mwiki estates four years ago, one health facility is now providing modern maternity services to hundreds of women in Nairobi’s poorer neighborhoods. Jacaranda Health Maternity hospital now exemplifies the rosy story of many Kenyan private health facilities that are thriving when most other sectors of the economy are floundering.

It was officially opened last week by former health minister Beth Mugo, now a nominated senator.

Chief medical officer at the facility, Faith Muigai, say they now have a 10-bed birthing centre off the eastern bypass and a nine-bed birthing facility in Kahawa West, off Kamiti road.

Muigai, a co-founder of the two institutions, says they offer a broader scope of services that include maternal, newborn and child health services. “We firmly believe in equity regardless of one social economic status, the equity of care provided is one of high standard and well compromised,” Muigai told the Star.

Beth Mugo, during the opening, said the majority of maternal deaths in Kenya are preventable through high quality care.  “The causes include severe bleeding, infections, high blood pressure during pregnancy and complications from delivery,” she said.

Muigai says dignity is prioritised in the two hospitals opened last week. She says every mother should experience high standards regardless of their economic status. This includes the “Mama Njoki who sells mbogas along Kamiti road or Lucy who has a small duka and sells household supplies to her locals.” She says the Jacaranda health team received support from the Ministry of Health and county leadership in the design and implementation of the facilities. “We have collaborated and they have provided educational opportunities to our health professionals,” Muingai said.

She says the founders plan to establish another hospital, out of Nairobi County. Muigai says in four  years, the Jacaranda team has seen more than 10,000 women and 4,000 children, through direct service delivery at the mobile facilities as well as outreach efforts.

She says her team has in the past participated in national level activities such as the Beyond Zero campaign by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.