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Health PS underscores the value of trees in promoting health

Public Health and Professional Standards Principal Secretary (PS) Mary Muthoni led West Pokot residents in the national tree planting exercise at the Aramaket ECD Centre in Kapenguria where thousands of indigenous tree seedlings were planted.

Speaking after the exercise that was also undertaken by top national and county government officials, PS Muthoni noted the significance of trees in promoting health standards in the country.

She explained that trees played a key role in saving human beings from the adverse effects of climate change which she reiterated has led to a number of diseases such as cholera and respiratory ailments among others.

The PS called on the residents to plant more trees among them fruit trees which she noted helped in supplementing nutrition, arguing that some of those patients visiting health facilities may be doing so as a result of lacking fruits in their diets.

“Fruit trees can play a big role in enhancing preventive healthcare in our nation. Therefore, we should continue planting fruit trees in our tree planting arrangements,” she insisted.

Muthoni urged the residents to nurture the trees they planted to maturity before harvesting them for environmental sustainability.

She noted that climate change and health were intertwined hence the need to plant trees in abundance to reduce the cost of health in the country.

“In Kenya, we lose 14,000 people annually due to climate change issues which we take for granted. Many people are suffering from respiratory complications and 2.2 million people lack access to safe water,” regretted the PS.

She pinpointed that some of the trees are medicinal noting that West Pokot County is endowed with them, although cautioning residents against unlicensed herbal medicine.

“I know people here use herbal medicines but let us apply some licensing since they may result into other health complications. Let us ensure medicines we use are tested and licensed for safety purposes,” advised the PS.

She challenged the residents to consider planting appropriate trees on their compounds stating that malaria prevalence has partly been as a result of people not planting the best tree species and also failing to clear bushes around their homesteads.

Muthoni warned residents against cutting down of immature trees regretting that many trees on hills had been cleared for human settlement thus exposing the inhabitants to environmental dangers such as erosion and landslides.

“As I was traversing in the region, I noticed that many hills are bare and charcoal burning was ongoing on the escapements. This is unhealthy to our efforts in trying to protect our tree cover to curb the effects of climate change,” noted the PS.

The PS was joined by West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin, area County Commissioner Apollo Okello and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party Secretary General Cleophas Malala.

By Richard Muhambe

 

 

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