An expectant mother in the remote Barsuba area of Lamu County was on Boxing Day, saved by Kenya Defence Forces who airlifted her to Amu Island to give birth.
The new mother Fatima Ali from Mangai in Basuba ward was airlifted to King Fahad hospital.
Meanwhile, most of the health facilities in Mangai village have remained without drugs and medical personnel since 2014 owing to inherent fear of terrorist attacks which loom large in the region.
The county has been pledging to address health concerns in the area since last year, yet there was little to show on the ground, despite the devolved government offering universal health care coverage to more than 100,000 residents in Lamu.
Speaking to KNA Thursday, the County medical services public affairs officer Shee Kupi acknowledged that they were still being supported by KDF to ferry or attend to sick residents in Barsuba area.
He further complimented the KDF efforts to airlift the pregnant woman who was in dire need of medical attention, due to the logistical challenge posed by poor road network in the area.
The murram road linking Hindi, Barsuba and Kiunga is still largely insecure for fear of stumbling on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by the Al-shabaab militants, thus causing panic among travelers plying the route.
Kupi stated that KDF medic from Manda Base had made the right decision to refer Ali as she was a high risk expectant mother in need of medical attention at the county referral hospital.
The Medical Superintendent for King Fahad Hospital Dr. Mohammed Saggaf who also spoke to the press, stated that the coordinated effort between the hospital staff and the KDF medical team saved the life of the 36 year old mother and her child.
He said the county health department had a well-functioning dispensary in Mangai with sufficient stock and personnel before it was destroyed by the militants in 2016.
“For the time being, we are working around the clock to stock and fully operationalize Kiangwe dispensary that is manned by border unit patrol that will serve nearby villages in the ward,” Medical Services Chief Officer Mohammed Badaawy told KNA
Subsequently, expectant women in Lamu East have suffered the most due to a poor road network that is worsened by random attacks along the Hindi- Kiunga road.
However, the national government has set aside Sh 60 million murram the road, according to the county Kenya Rural Roads Coordinator Nicholas Ng’ang’a.
By Amenya Ochieng