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Busia receives infant health pilot project

Teso North and Bunyala Sub-Counties are set to benefit from a pilot project on Possible Serious Bacterial Infection (PSBI).

The pilot project which is a partnership of Living Goods, Lwala Community Alliance, Population Council and the Busia County Government, is aimed at reducing infant mortality, particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Participants during a health stakeholder’s forum in Busia town. Photo by Melechezedeck Ejakait

Speaking during a consultative meeting of partners and other stakeholders in Busia town, Living Goods Programmes Manager for Capacity Building, Kenneth Ogendo, said the project will build and strengthen community health systems and child health community working groups to protect infants from the effects of Covid-19.

“The goal of the project is to see that sick infants under two months are attended to and not forgotten. Pneumonia and other bacterial infections such as neonatal sepsis are causing a lot of deaths hence the need to protect the infants,” Ogendo said.

According to the Programme Manager, in Kenya the new born mortality rate stands at 22/1000 while the infant mortality rate is at 39/1000.

“The statistics indicate that it is high time we strengthened the community health systems to ensure there is a link between the community and the health facilities, in order to have a two way
referral mechanism,”Ogendo said, noting that the project is also being implemented in Migori County.

The County Public Health Director, Melisa Lutomia, hailed the partners for the initiative, saying the project will play a key role in the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage.

“We appreciate your efforts because Community Health Services, is a big way of implementing Universal Health Coverage,” she said.

The County Clinical Officer, Dorah Mutonyi, disclosed that through the support of Living Goods, the County Health Department, has been able to train Healthcare workers involved in assessment and management of children from the two Sub-counties where the project is to be piloted.

“The burden we have had over neonatal mortalities due to challenges in the health facilities include the knowledge gaps and being addressed through the trainings,” Mutonyi stated.

By Melechezedeck Ejakait

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