𝐋𝐨𝐝𝐰𝐚𝐫, 𝐓𝐮𝐫𝐤𝐚𝐧𝐚 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐲
𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐒𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟖, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑
In a bid to bring government services and legislative processes closer to citizens, the Senate Committee on Health, led by Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago, conducted a tour of Kangagetei dispensary, a primary healthcare hub located in Turkana. This visit was part of the ongoing ‘Senate Mashinane’ initiative, which involves a series of Senate sittings held in various counties across the nation.
During the tour, the committee had the opportunity to witness a community outreach activity at the dispensary. This facility primarily caters to minor health interventions related to children, lactating women, pregnant women, and maternal health. One crucial issue that emerged during the visit was the local cultural belief that prohibits women from being assisted by male healthcare practitioners during childbirth, leading many women to give birth at home.
Senator Mandago addressed this concern, emphasizing the necessity of providing further training to traditional birth attendants and advocating for the County Government to compensate them for their services. He stated, “It is high time that the County Government of Turkana considers integrating traditional birth attendants into the provision of maternal health. The county should provide training in safe delivery methods and offer payment to these attendants so that they can assist those in need.”
Furthermore, Senator Mandago raised another pertinent issue – the language barrier. He noted that healthcare practitioners deployed to villages often do not understand or speak the local language, hindering effective communication with patients and, subsequently, the provision of suitable solutions. The importance of language in healthcare cannot be understated, as it plays a pivotal role in understanding patients’ concerns and addressing them adequately.
During their visit, the committee was also treated to a demonstration by community health promoters regarding the Integrated Community Management of Childhood Diseases, a programme supported by World Vision and UNICEF. This demonstration shed light on the invaluable work being done by grassroots organizations in improving healthcare access and outcomes within the community.
Senator Mandago was joined by the Vice Chair of the Committee, Senator Omar Mariam, and Senator Esther Okenyuri. Members of the Turkana Health Committee, led by their Chair, Hon. Bethwel Kobongin, were also in attendance.