The ministry of health has launched a series of health outreaches targeting villages that are far from health facilities.
The Turkana West sub-county medical team is targeting 7,000 people in Letea ward with basic medical services over the next one week right in the villages as opposed to the health facilities.
The team is offering free immunization, nutrition, health education, antenatal care integrated services and HIV counselling and testing as part of the wider strategy by the sub-county medical team to avail services to the areas’ nomadic groups.
Area Medical officer of health Robert Rotich said the current activity will reach out to the whole Letea ward with stopovers in Kokorio, Kameyen, Loreng, Loritit, and Lopedur villages some of which are as far as 100 kilometres from the sub-county headquarters in Kakuma.
“All the wards in the area have benefitted from such outreaches in the last six months and 16 more outreaches will be conducted in the next one month in Nakalale and Lopur wards to complete the cycle in the sub county,” area Public Health Nurse John Ateyo said.
Ateyo added that similar low-cost outreaches are also undertaken monthly by Nanam Dispensary with the support of donor agencies to serve the highly mobile populations of Lopwarin, Nalamacha, Nayeinaroo, Ngeu, and Ekitelakepiran some of whom migrates across the border to South Sudan.
Regarding the use of Effective Vaccine Management Assessment which is a national exercise undertaken by World Health Organization, Ateyo said that results posted by Naduat Dispensary (74%) and West KEPI depot (79%) were encouraging.
According to Hosea Losia, one of the organizers of the program and a member of the sub-county Health Management Team, the intervention has so far served up to four children with zero BCG hence strengthening the county’s immunization coverage.
Losia added that the sub-county has devised a method of self-reliance in which outreaches use the low-cost approach wholly supported by individual health facilities in the locality for consistency of medical care and continuity over the longest period.
Apart from the outreaches, there is hope that Kakuma sub-county Hospital will be offering 24 hours service from 1st February 2021 after it was eventually connected to electricity one week ago.
The MoH said that members of the Sub- County Health Management Team currently have their offices at the Sub- County Hospital for an enhanced and seamless operationalization of health services.
by Peter Gitonga