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County re-launches initiative to curb maternal mortality burden

Garissa County government in partnership with the Red Cross Foundation through the E-plus medical services has re-launched an initiative aimed at reducing maternal mortality rate and ease in the referral system across the county.

The re-launch included flagging off of five ambulances with state of the art medical equipment and trained personnel that are able to deliver the much needed emergency care to women in the remotest areas of the county during child birth in a bid to reduce maternal mortality rate.

Speaking at the Governor’s office after holding a boardroom meeting between the county health officials and E-plus medical representative, Governor Nathif Jamah expressed his optimism and trust on the efficiency of the initiative as he had already launched a similar initiative in his previous tenure as the first Governor of Garissa.

“We know the efficiency of the Red Cross E- plus ambulance system. We were there and we tried this service before and we know how much qualified personnel and paramedics they have. Their vehicles are the best and we have said that we are returning back there so that these vehicles can serve the remotest part of our county,” Nathif said.

“The ambulances are a key aspect of this proposition so from today, we will have at least five ambulances so that it can help to reduce the mortality rate in our county, which at the moment is very high,” he added.

E- plus representative in Garissa Susan Ng’ong’a said that the move by the county government to partner with Red Cross in referral emergency health is a good one as they look forward to reducing the maternal mortality rate by 50 per cent as it had attained in its previous exercise.

“We were here in 2013-2017 and Garissa was one of the best counties with the best referral system, a robust referral system that was second to none in this country and we are happy to have contributed to that,” Ng’ong’a said.

The flagging off event was also graced by Garissa County Health CEC Ahmednadir Omar, Garissa County Finance Executive Abass Ismail, Garissa level five CEO Dr. Hawa Bakari among other dignitaries from both the county government and the Red Cross Foundation.

Maternal mortality rate in Garissa County currently stands at 500 per 100,000 live births according to the available conclusive records of 2018 as countrywide infant mortality rate is 30.63 deaths per 1000 live births from 2022.

This initiative by Garissa County government comes in the wake of community awareness against home child deliveries, FGM and early marriages which are the major issues that contribute to the high mortality rate in the region.

E-plus medical service is set to work in line with other services like free maternity services provided through the National Hospital Insurance Fund and the Linda Mama programme to reduce the maternal mortality ratio to that of less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

By Abdulhamid Suleiman

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