Over 30 county healthcare workers are currently undergoing a capacity building training on Emergency Obstetric Newborn Care (EmoNC) with the aim of provide comprehensive maternal and newborn services in health facilities.

According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014, Turkana County is losing 1,594 mothers per 100,000 live births.  To this end, the EmoNC training is meant to equip healthcare workers with the necessary primary care skills to mitigate morbidity and mortality for mothers and newborns who deliver in all the 228 health facilities across the county.

The training, supported by International Rescue Committee (IRC), is targeting 33 health workers from four sub-counties; Turkana South, Turkana West, Loima and Turkana East.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel – Director of Medical Services – said that no woman should lose her life while bringing forth a new life. He urged the participants to sensitise the communities on the benefits of delivering in a health facility and provide good customer care service.

“My hope is that you [the participants] will be soldiers of change that will reduce the maternal mortality rate in Turkana so as to avoid the unnecessary dying of our mothers and newborns,” he said.

At the Lorugum Sub-county Hospital, Sister Veronica Mbula attends to approximately 20 deliveries per month. Having been a nurse at the maternity and new born unit for the last 10 years, she has seen the hospital transform into a referral facility for Loima Sub-county. As a participant of the EmoNC training, she expects to offer improved health services to the patients.

“This training will give me the knowledge and skills to manage the obstetric emergences because we get them every day,” she said. “Instead of referring them to Lodwar County Referral Hospital, we can manage them in Lorugum.”

This is because Sister Mbula has witnessed an increase of premature births and anaemic mothers; the latter being at risk of postpartum haemorrhage (PPH).

Nargis Kaka, a mid-wife from the Nursing Council of Kenya and the course director, says that training is skills based and the participants will be practising on mannequins and role plays as well as proper patient documentation.

Dr. Lokoel appreciated the National government officials who were some of the instructors and IRC for making the training possible.