Pumwani Maternity Hospital is a referral maternity hospital located on the east of Nairobi City. The hospital has a vision to be an autonomous, efficient maternity hospital where all mothers receive comprehensive essential maternity care. This is to be achieved by a mission to provide leadership in maternity services, training and development of Clinical and Nursing services.
The Hospital was founded in 1926 by a Charitable Organization called Lady Grigg Welfare League and was named Lady Grigg Maternity. In 1928 the first permanent building was put up at the Hospital and later some extensions were made to give the Hospital a bed capacity of 27.
In 1944 the Hospital was taken over by the Municipal Council of Nairobi. The Pumwani Maternity Hospital is a pioneer in the provision of maternity care in Sub-Saharan Africa. The name “Pumwani” is derived from the Swahili word to “breathe” or “relax” which is befitting of a mother who has just delivered a healthy baby.
Under the management of the Municipality, Hospital services grew rapidly with bed capacity nearly tripled from 27 to 75 while during the same period deliveries increased from 3000 to 8000 yearly. The old building that comprised the initial maternity was converted into a School of Midwifery Studies and a Nurses Hostel.
In 1969, the late President MzeeJomo Kenyatta presided over the opening of a newly expanded unit of the Hospital. At the inception of the Hospital, the new block comprised 117 beds, an Operating Theatre and a modern 50 bed unit for Neonates, an X-Ray Department, a Laboratory, a Library and a Conference Room.
Today, Pumwani maternity hospital is an Obstetric and referral hospital for delivery of expectant mothers in Nairobi, and adjoining districts. It has 354 Obstetric beds, 144 baby cots and 2 Theatres. Daily normal deliveries are 50 – 100, and Caesarean Sections are 10 – 15.
The Hospital falls under the jurisdiction of Nairobi City County, however, Pumwani Maternity remains the largest maternity hospital in the country and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is equivalent to a Provincial Hospital in status and is reported to be third busiest maternity hospital in the African continent.
The facility is headed by the Deputy Medical Officer of Health (PMH) who doubles up as the Hospital CEO assisted by the Matron and the Hospital Health Administrator(Hospital Secretary).