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Boost for West Pokot health department as NGO donates items

Action Against Hunger, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) involved in the fight against the causes and effects of hunger, has donated an assortment of non-food items to the West Pokot County Health Department to cushion children in hospitals against the effects of adverse weather conditions.

The items handed over to the pediatrics section include 10 blankets, a water dispenser, 20 bedsheets, 27 plastic pallets, 130 bibs for community health volunteers, 10 foldable tables, 3 banded examination beds, 1 massage baby doll, 3 metallic chairs, 3 flasks and 5 basins among others.

Action Against Hunger nutrition programme manager Betty Cheyech said their initiative was in response to the Kenya Meteorological Department alerts over heavy downpours across the country from October to December, owing to the El Nino phenomenon.

Cheyech said during the handing over of the equipment that the donation will go a long way in cushioning the children in hospitals against the adverse effects of the cold weather.

“During the cold weather, children whose health is weakened by poor nutrition become at risk of hypothermia and serious respiratory infections, hence the need to provide them with lifesaving cold weather assistance. Children at risk of hypothermia need to be in a warm room,” she explained.

She added that besides the donations, the organization had also painted the walls of the pediatric ward at the Kapenguria County Referral Hospital, an initiative that will end up cheering up sick children hence fastening their recovery.

Cheyech said their organization has had a good working relationship with the county government, enabling them to address health problems in the county and integrate nutrition, water, food security, and livelihood programmes in the region.

West Pokot County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health and Sanitation (CEC), Ms. Clare Parklea, embraced the project lauding the organization for the cordial working relationship with the county government.

Ms. Parklea lauded the support from the Action Against Hunger reiterating that it has enabled the county amicably address health issues, nutrition, water, food security and livelihood programmes in the region.

“The donations will go a long way in supplementing the shortages the hospital has been experiencing. The donations have come at the right time and we need them mostly for our paediatric wards,” said the health CECM.

She mentioned that the items will be distributed to Kapenguria county referral hospital and Kacheliba Sub County hospitals.

She appealed to other partners to emulate Action Against Hunger in supporting the health sector.

Health and Sanitation Chief Officer Nelly Soprin urged the hospital management to ensure they avoid diverting the items for unintended purposes.

”We will keep records of all the items donated, and we want them to be used correctly so that it helps to serve the target population,” urged the Chief Officer.

Kapenguria County Referral Hospital pediatrician Dr. Priscilla Jepkemboi noted that the Action Against Hunger organization has been a very good partner together with UNICEF, and their support has helped enhance the hospital’s operations.

”We have received a major boost, which places the health facility in a position to continue providing quality health care to children and the general public,” Dr. Jepkemboi said.

She highlighted that the anticipated El Nino rains prompt for adequate preparedness since the rains could lead to an increase in communicable diseases such as cholera and diarrhea with children being the most vulnerable.

She said hospitals have stocked medicines for water-borne diseases hence there’s no need for residents to worry.

By Richard Muhambe

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