Society / Health & Science
Friday, 03 Mar 2017 10:11 EATamboleokata@gmail.com
In a bid to improve the access of health services to its residents, the county government of Nakuru has launched various guidelines that will bring maternal health services, emergency response services and adolescent health services closer to its people. The launch of County Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan 2017–2021, the County Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Adolescent Health (RMNAH) Investment Framework and County Ambulance Guidelines is considered as a bold move by the administration to ensure quality health care services which are easily accessible to the people.
According to Nakuru health minister Dr Kabii Mungai, the new guidelines are aimed at reducing maternal and infant deaths, teenage and adolescent pregnancies, preventable deaths and ensuring that the women in the county guide birth to the number of children they can effectively raise. Speaking during the launch of the guidelines, Dr Mungai said Nakuru residents will soon be able to access county government ambulance services from their door step following the launch of new ambulance use guidelines.
He said that the services will be available to residents of Nakuru County in all the eleven sub counties and that the county government was planning on introducing a toll number where residents can call for an ambulance in times of an emergency. Dr Mungai said that all the thirteen county government ambulances will have a toll number linked to a call station which patients can use in order to have the ambulances pick from their door step. Kabii said that ambulance drivers have already undergone the necessary training to that effect.
Four ambulances donated by the world health organization were launched four and half years ago after which the county government of Nakuru purchased four others. Dr Mungai pointed out that accessible ambulance services will go a long way in easing evacuation problems especially for maternal and accident cases.
Due to the many accidents along the northern corridor where Nakuru County falls, the county executive said that ambulances will be able to reach accidents scenes fast and access the nearest health facility since all facilities will be linked to the ambulances. On costing of family planning Mungai said that Nakuru County stands at 54 percent meaning that 50 percent of the women are not accessing contraceptives. He noted that family planning translates to improved livelihood adding that it prevents maternal death by 50 percent .
Regarding reproductive health framework, the county health boss said that there is a deficit of four antenatal visits by mothers in Nakuru county meaning that the county is at 30 percent instead of 100 percent. Having launched a booklet on reproductive health guidelines, Kabii said that shortcomings in the reproductive health sector will be addressed properly and in time.
While appreciating that adolescent contribute to 44 percent of the population and that they need youth friendly services so as to access health care that they deserve, Dr Mungai said that the county government of Nakuru will strive to increase the number of youth friendly centres in order to enable them access required services.
Sheikh Ahmad Rashid who is the Imam in charge of Jamia mosque in Nakuru County asked the clergy not to misguide the nation in the use of contraceptives. The guidelines were developed by the county of Nakuru health department in partnership with development partners including the Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) which is an international development organization that focuses on the needs and potential of the youth and the World health organization.
The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County