In a small room at the Mandera county hospital sits two Cuban doctors on a normal busy schedule.
The doctors say they are in a Godly calling to help area residents in performing specialized treatment which local doctors could not perform.
Patients at the facility could not hide their joy after receiving successful surgeries which could previously be performed only in Nairobi.
Those from Mandera and neighbouring Somalia who spoke to KNA said they were getting better services than before.
Amina Mohamed successfully delivered through a cesarean section performed by Landhi Rodriguez. She said residents were flocking to the hospital due to the presence of the Cuban doctors.
“You will be surprised that many patients especially from the villages are now coming to the county referral hospital for treatment, thanks to the presence of the Cuban doctors. We have faith in them,” she said.
Mohamed said the only challenge is the language barrier. Some crucial patient information is lost during translation, she said.
Another patient, Halima Yusuf, who has had five miscarriages in a row was optimistic she would get help from the Cuban doctors. “I just can’t carry any pregnancy to term,” she said.
“My efforts to get assistance from local doctors have failed. I hope and pray that under the supervision of the Cuban doctors, I will be able to carry my pregnancy to full term, deliver safely and cuddle my baby like other mothers,” said Halima.
Doctors Herrera Correa and Rodriguez said they were committed to treat their patients. Rodriguez said initially, they were wary about security.
“At first, I was very reluctant to come over here with my colleague but changed my mind after a lot of persuasion. I am comfortable with the security arrangements,” he said.
The doctors say the region is safe and security has been tightened hence there is nothing to worry about.
Kenya brought in 100 doctors from Cuba. The government says they came to fill gaps in the public health sector.
Area governor Ali Roba now says residents would be relieved of the burden of traveling to Nairobi to seek specialized treatment.
“Our people will get quality health care services on their door step following the move by the national government to give us the two Cuban doctors. This has also helped to fill gaps left by our non-local doctors who fled the region in 2014 over insecurity challenges, “said Roba.
Roba said in line with improving health services, all Sub-County hospitals would be upgraded and turned into fully-fledged level four hospitals with the requisite amenities befitting that status.
According to the Governor, the number of health facilities in the county had more than tripled, while that of health workers increased from 154 to 864. “Specifically, the number of nurses increased from 48 to 340, Doctors from 1 to 38,” he said.
This will help the county in achieving universal health care, a key pillar in President Uhuru’s Big 4 Agenda.
By Dickson Githaiga