Dozens of children at risk for skipping immunization in Kajiado
Dozens of children in Kajiado County continue to miss out the recommended vaccines for newborns due to poor road network and distance from health facilities.
According to Kajiado Governor’s wife, Edna Lenku immunisation of children has not been taken seriously since clinical services are inaccessible and many mothers do not know the negative effects of skipping the recommended vaccines.
Concerned by this anomaly, Mrs. Lenku, while presiding over a “beyond zero campaign,” handed over a motorcycle ambulance to aid in mobile health clinics and emergency for pregnant women to reach hospitals during delivery.
Lenku said she will work closely with other health partners in the region and beyond to ensure that no child dies from immunizable diseases.
“The poor terrain in Kajiado West and other parts of Kajiado County calls for fast response to reach out to mothers and children through mobile health services,” she said at Oldoinyio-Nyokie Dispensary.
She lauded the office of the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for reaching out to helpless Kenyans by providing mobile clinics which has since restored decency and sanity in the maternal health care.
The Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS 2014) shows that the infant mortality rate has dropped from 52 deaths per 1000 live births in 2009, to 39 deaths per 1000 live births, citing increased proportions of births assisted by skilled attendants and women delivering in health facilities.
Mrs. Lenku said reaching out to pregnant women to ensure they access health facilities and receive skilled care during delivery was a task that requires huge resources that cannot be left to devolved system of Government alone.
The current venture of using motorbike ambulances in Kenya is an example of how innovation can overcome some of the challenges facing rural communities.
The World Health (WHO) report on maternal mortality rate in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, indicates that it is possible to accelerate the decline since countries have now united behind a new target to reduce maternal mortality even further.
One target under Sustainable Development Goal three is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 births, with no country having a maternal mortality rate of more than twice the global average.
Similarly, reports by Ministry of Health service, Kenya has so far recorded an impressive increase in the number of mothers attending antenatal care from 88 per cent in 2003 to 96 per cent in 2014.
There was also a rise in the number of women receiving a post-natal check-up within two days after birth from one out of 10 in 2003, to four out of 10 in 2009 and five out of 10 in 2014.
On the other hand, Kajiado County Executive Committee for Health and Sanitation, Esther Somoire says health facilities in the rural parts of Kajiado have been classified into clusters which are still very high as compared to the ratio of patients accessing skilled health care.
“For instance in Oldoinyio-Nyokie dispensary there are more than 10 village clusters with a population of about 3, 300 people which shows a greater disparity for a patient being attended in the clinic,” Somoire expressed her concern.
She appeals to the National Government to purchase ultrasound machines to aid patients visiting Kajiado County Level five hospital as a matter of urgency.
“Patients requiring ultrasound scan examinations are given referral to Nairobi and other Counties since our Level 5 hospital lack the equipment,” said Somoire.
The office of Mrs. Lenku together with her network of donors donated relief food for needy families in Magadi who are faced with hunger due to serious drought in parts of Kajiado, eight water Tanks to eight primary schools courtesy of Roto Kenya, and mosquito nets to be distributed to needy homes.
By Nelly Kosgey