Lodwar County Referral Hospital laboratory recommended for ISO certification

Lodwar County Referral Hospital laboratory is at an advanced stage of receiving ISO 15189:2012 accreditation. It will be the first and only facility in the Northern Arid Lands (NALs) region to acquired the standard. The accreditation recommendation was issued yesterday by Kenya Acreditation Service(KENAS ) after several assessments that touched on the tests carried out, quality and procedures in place to ensure reliable quality laboratory results are available in the premier County health facility.

The accreditation recommendation is a confirmation that the laboratory can effectively support enhanced service delivery of medical interventions by giving accurate, reliable, and timely laboratory results for correct diagnosis and better patient outcomes.

Mr. Maragia James Marcomics-the officer in charge of laboratory services, said that the preparation for accreditation started last year with the installation of computer assisted systems that could track delivery of services in real times and enhance timely response to the clients.

The laboratory is well equipped with gene expert machines, biosafety cabinets, microscopes fridges and incubators centrifuge, autoclave for sterilization of culture plates, chemistry machine, blood transfusion machines and coagulation machine for offering the widest range of laboratory services available.
The laboratory e-system is supported by a server to allow for paperless interaction between the service providers and the clients. The facility serves more than 300 people on a daily basis. started last year with the installation of computer assisted systems that could track delivery of services in real times and enhance timely response to the clients.

The laboratory is well equipped with gene expert machines, biosafety cabinets, microscopes fridges and incubators centrifuge, autoclave for sterilization of culture plates, chemistry machine, blood transfusion machines and coagulation machine for offering the widest range of laboratory services available.
The laboratory e-system is supported by a server to allow for paperless interaction between the service providers and the clients. The capacity of the facility has increased considerably since it can now serves more than 300 people on a daily basis as compared to only 150 cases before the recommended accreditation.

CECM Aletia flags off last mile of anti-locusts spray in Lokichar; terms exercise successful

County executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries ,Chris Aletia  today flagged off the last mile of Locusts spraying in Lokichar ,Turkana south sub county and termed the long month exercise as an achievement by the County government towards pest control.

Speaking in Lokichar Airstrip during the flagging off event, CECM Aletia said that the county had taken the initiative to save vegetation from being damaged by Locust as part of Drought mitigation Additionally, CEC Aletia said that the tree locusts had   depleted animal feed and pasture with treetop grazers being the most affected.

The countywide pest control exercise started last month and targets to cover a total of 837.35Km square. The exercise is jointly being done by the National and county government. The county government bought the chemical and Aircraft fuel while the National government provided the Aircraft.

CEC Aletia noted that a research by ministry officials identified the Locust Species, “Anarcridium melanorhodon” as the major one attacking vegetative part of acacia and shrubs. The pest is also reported to have attacked prosopis juliflora along the Laggas and Streams affecting both rangeland and farm sites.

The insecticide purchased by the County government for Locust control is Utra Low Volume (ULV) sumithion Insecticide, which has undergone checks and registration by Pest Control Products Board (PCPB). It is certified by the World health Organization and classified as yellow (safe Human and Environmental friendly). The Total ULV purchased is 3,000 litres and were proportionately allocated per Sub-County based on the amount of vegetation (target areas) cover infestation.

CEC Aletia also inspected the ongoing construction of Veterinary Lab and cold chain store in Lokichar. If completed, the facility will help in storage of vaccines, that will shorten and Ease response to diseases and service delivery not only to Turkana south but also to Turkana East sub county.

Spraying of Locusts for the remaining   Turkana East sub county will start on Wednesday.

Also accompanying the County executive were Turkana South Deputy county commissioner Philip Sigei, Agriculture Deputy Director Paul Lokone, several county officers and a host of professionals from Turkana South.

USHANGA INITIATIVE SENSITISATION EXERCISE CARRIED OUT IN TURKANA NORTH SUB-COUNTY

As a resident of Kaikor in Turkana North Sub-County, Rebecca Erupe options for formal employment or engaging in viable economic activities are limited. Therefore, in a recent sensitisation meeting about Ushanga Initiative, she appreciated the county’s drive to encourage women to take up beadwork as an economic activity.

The Ushanga Initiative, a program under the Department of Culture in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources, is targeting such women like Rebecca to improve their lives through beadwork. Under the initiative, the department will offer training and assistance in accessing local and international markets.

The department having already trained over 20 trainer of trainers (ToTs) from Turkana South, East and Central Sub-Counties, the next was the vast Turkana North/ Kibish Sub-County and on a later date – Loima Sub-County. This recent exercise sensitised over 100 women in Loareng’ak and Kaikor centres with plans to reach out to more centres.

“We [the county] would like to encourage you to make different types of beaded products to sell as it will improve your standard of living and promote the Turkana culture,” said Lemmy Ejorewoia – the Chief Administrator in the Department of Culture, during the meeting with the Kaikor women.

He also assured the women that the department would be training them soon with machines such as looms and bead spinners that he showed the women during the two meetings.

By learning how to use the machines and business skills, the women would be able to make different beaded items, create new designs, work easier and faster, and advance the finishing of the products in order to be competitive in the market.

On his part the Turkana North Sub-County Administrator James Ekwakai encouraged the women to continue making bead product because it is a source of income.

The Ushanga Initiative, done in collaboration with the National Government, is meant to empower the pastoral women by changing the perception or understanding on the use of beads as not just an adornment but an economic asset to improve their lives. Turkana is one of the seven counties targeted traditionally dealing in beads; others being West Pokot, Baringo, Marsabit, Samburu, Narok and Kajiado.

 

TURKANA COUNTY GOVERNMENT ROLLS OUT CAMEL VACCINATION EXERCISE

Countywide vaccination exercise for camels by the County Department of Veterinary Services was officially launched today by Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro.

The vaccination against Haemorrhaagic septicaemia known in Ng’aturkana as “Lookot” has affected camels and it is associated with stress caused by long search of water and pasture.

Its characterized by pneumonia, internal bleeding (Haemorrhagic enteririts) and sudden death.

Speaking during the launch in Kerio Delta Ward, Turkana Central DG Lotethiro said that the County Government has taken the initiative of vaccinating camels to cushion herders against losses during this drought season. He said livestock rearing was the main source of livelihood in Kerio and other parts of the county and so their is need for quick response to mitigate the situation.

County Executive for Agriculture,Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Executive Chris Aletia said that the Ministry with support from the National Government and Food Agriculture Organizations(FAO) will soon distribute 350 Metric Tonnes of Range Cubes as a supplement feed for livestock during this dry season across the county.

Chief Officer for Fisheries,Livestock and Veterinary Services, Dr Michael Eregae said that the disease was first reported in January but was later brought under control.
After reported cases of camels deaths, Dr Eregae says that the ministry procured 2,000 vials of antibiotic( Penstrep)for treatment of early cases starting from Turkana Central, Turkana South and Loima sub-counties.

So far 675 Cases of camels who have died from the disease have been reported, 6191 treated while another 130,615 Camels risk starvation due to the ongoing drought. Haemorrhagic Septicaemia is commonly transmitted through contact with infected body fluids and excretion.

The County government has spent Sh2million for the vaccination and procurement of another 15 million drugs consignment to facilitate county wide exercise is on process that aims to cover 750,000 Camels in the whole county.

Also present during the event were Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Benson Longor,Kerio Delta MCA Peter Eregae and county government officers.

FRUIT AND ORNAMENTAL TREE SEEDLINGS DISTRIBUTION

The Department of Natural Resources, under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources, will soon be distributing 3,000 fruit and ornamental tree seedlings to organisations and sold to interested individuals.

Chief Officer of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources, Pauline Lokuruka has said the seedlings represent a new approach to ensuring the ministry distributed high value tress which in future would enhance food security and nutrition.

“The reason why the ministry is selling to individuals is to encourage the feel of ownership which in this case the survival rate tree seedlings and raise revenue for the county,” she said.

The Deputy Director Pauline Ngoli Pusiye, Natural Resources, said the guava, orange and mango fruits trees are grafted and ready for planting. The ornamental tree, the umbrella, is a step away from the favoured neem, however the deputy director is confident the tree will grow in this kind of environment.

The distribution strategy, which ensures that there is equitable sharing throughout the county, will be 60% to institutions and 40% to individuals. It was agreed that following high demand of seedlings by the public, each person would be allowed to get at least 5 seedlings per species.

In this regard, individuals interested would be expected to pay Sh300 per fruit seedling and Sh100 for the ornamental. This, says Deputy Director of Natural Resources, will be a sign of commitment and ownership while organized groups/institutions who will receive in form of donation.

For an institution to qualify, it has to meet the following criteria; copy of certificate of registration; provide seedling protection; water and labour

COUNTY GOVERNMENT ROLLS OUT RELIEF FOOD DISTRIBUTION TO REGIONS HARD-HIT BY DROUGHT

Deputy governor Peter Lotethiro has today launched the first phase of relief food distribution that will benefit residents in regions severely affected by drought.

Speaking when he flagged off trucks ferrying relief food at the at the National Cereals and Produce Board(NCPB) silos in Lodwar, DG Lotethiro said that the distribution has been necessitated by the negative impact that has been caused by the ongoing drought. He warned that the situation was alarming such and required quick intervention.

He called for support from the national government to reach more residents regions affected, saying the distribution from the county government was not enough for all the affected residents of the county.

“We appeal to the national government through the concerned ministry to provide relief food so as to boost the current supply of cereals and cooking oil that the county is distributing. I urge them to to act first and contain the situation before it gets out of hand,” he said.

The Deputy Governor said 12 wards most affected that its food will benefit from the batch of food released today. The wards are Kibish, Lapur, Nanam, Lobokat, Letea, Lobei-Kotaruk, Kerio Delta, Songot, Kaaleng-Kaikor, Kaikor and Lokori-Kochodin which will recieve 36,000 of 50Kgs bags, 10,000 of 50kg bags of beans and 10,000 of 20 litres cooking oil.

County Executive Public Service and Disaster Management Charles Lokiyoto said that the sub-county and ward administrators had been mobilized to distribute the relief food with help from the distribution committees; and assured that the County will coordinate with the ward distribution committees ensure residents targeted received the rightful share of the food.

The food distribution committee he says would weigh the amount of relief food delivered and crosscheck with the planned amount to be received at the ward level.

Also present to witness the flagging was the County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, Chief Officer for Decentralized Administration and Disaster Management Abraham Losinyen and a host of county government officials.

DG LOTETHIRO ASSURES OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT SUPPORT OF WORLD VISION PROGRAMME IN KALAPATA

The County Government will coordinate with World Vision in implementation of the organisation’s Area Development Programme (ADP) for Kalapata.

Speaking during the launch of the programme today in Kang’akipur, Kalapata Ward Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro insisted that better collaboration  between government, was the key for the success and ensuring programmes have the biggest impact on residents targeted.

He said the launch was a welcome boost to the County Government’s investment in the region in health, education, water services, which he said will contribute to solving challenges that still faced residents.

The DG insisted that Partnership and Investments which was a key pillar in Governor Nanok’s five transformative agenda for the second term, will be strengthened to fill resource deficit by the County Government in developing Turkana and getting services to residents.

He encouraged World Vision to further partner with the County Government and support peace and security efforts especially along troubled borders.

He assured residents of Kalapata that the County will soon rollout the first cycle of relief food to cushion residents in regions hard hit by drought, from its effects.

World Vision acting National Manager Jeremiah Nyaga said through the ADP, the organisation will undertake development projects in the ward for between 10 to 15 years.

He said Kalapata had been picked as the most deserving region with residents facing numerous challenges in education with poor infrastructure and shortage of teachers, in health and water shortage.

Nyaga promised that the organisation will work closely with the County Government and other development partners in the region. He encouraged residents to hold their officers accountable and ensure they lived up to the the aspirations of the organisation on transparency.

On his part, Turkana South MP James Lomenen called for coordinated approach to development from both governments and organisations to avoid duplication of projects.

Having previously worked in World Vision before and due to their track record, the MP said he was confident that residents of Kalapata would benefit from the organisation’s work.

He echoed the DG’s assurance of support of World Vision projects, by the leadership of Turkana.

Others who spoke at the event were Kalapata MCA Peter Edung’, World Vision Regional Coordinator Katherine Kibomoi, Turkana South subcounty Administrator Losikiria among others.

Heads of various departments in the World Vision national office and representatives from other regional offices in Kenya were present to witness the launch.

PUTTING THE COMMUNITY AT THE CENTRE OF FOREST PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION

The Kalokol Community Forest Association (CFA) was trained on sustainable utilisation of forest resources and the roles and responsibilities of the association under the devolved forestry functions.

The Department of Natural Resources – under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources – is expected to support the associations to be on the forefront of forest management around their area of residence.

Speaking at the baraza in town before the training, Chief Officer of Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources Pauline Lokuruka said that the county is working to empower forest associations with the necessary protection and conservation skills.

“We want to empower the associations so that the county can be buying seedlings from them during national tree planting days,” said Chief Lokuruka.

According to the Deputy Director of Natural Resources Pauline Ngoli Pusiye, forest management is under the county government; “The forests are our responsibility to manage, conserve and protect as stipulated under the forestry devolved.”

The department’s focus will be nature-based enterprises like harvesting gum arabica from trees to protect and conserve the forests. On the issue of charcoal, the department was also working a charcoal management plan to develop a sustainable charcoal industry that benefits the communities in county.

One of the benefits of forming a CFA is that the community can identify their specific threats and solutions. In Kalokol, the biggest threat has been to the palm trees which locals use for smoking fish.

With technical support from Kenya Forest Service (KFS), said Johnson Komu, the Assistant Eco-system Conservator – Turkana County, CFAs will be able develop a constitution that is inline with the National Government’s rules and regulations.

In partnership with KFS, which is still has the enforcement mandate, the Natural Resources department hopes to deter wanton destruction of forests for firewood and charcoal burning.

The department and KFS distributed 250 seedlings at the centre.

Governor Nanok calls for immediate security intervention to end Turkana South attacks

Governor Josphat Nanok has called on national security agencies to crackdown on perpetrators of banditry attacks witnessed in the past three days at border between Turkana, West Pokot counties.

Speaking during an interview with Standard Media Group reporters in his office today, the Governor insisted that security remained a core responsibility of the national government and demanded for action by police on intelligence that the attacks were politically instigated.

“It is sad the situation is getting out of hand and Interior CS Matiangi has to take action and have to begin by going after the perpetrators of these attacks and stop those causing this impunity because if left to go scot-free then they are bound to repeat this impunity”

“The national government whose responsibility it is to provide security are aware of what is happening and have the intelligence to stop the attacks,” he said.

Governor Nanok added that the situation had escalated beyond possible intervention by the political leadership, after separate attacks on Kainuk and Kakong’u police posts as well as vehicles plying the Lodwar- Kitale highway.

He maintained that it was in the interest of the national government to maintain stability in the area with planned development of national assets including oil production and other related infrastructural developments. He warned that the conflict could halt the exploitation of natural resources and prevent Kenyans from benefitting.

He cited the insecurity situation in Tiaty constituency to be the cause of conflicts in regions neighboring the area, including Turkana East, Turkana South, Marakwet South, Samburu West and North, Baringo North and South and Laikipia West constituencies.

The Governor further blamed lack of security enforcement by the national government and poor infrastructure as hindrance to efforts to maintain security along the border areas.

On underlying issues of the conflict, the county chief mentioned the upcoming census, encroachment of Turkana land and cattle rustling attacks and retaliatory attacks to be key causes of the attacks.

He urged the media to be balanced in their reporting of the conflict and gave an example of the one-sided coverage of claims that the convoy of West Pokot Governor was attacked by police; where the claims were not corroborated by the County Commandant of Police and the County Commissioner despite being present in the press briefing.

LORUGUM SUB COUNTY HOSPITAL FIRST SURGICAL OPERATION

It’s impossible until it’s done”—Nelson Mandela

This is the story of improved and reinvigorated health services in Turkana driven by a vision of equity affordability and accessibility of health care to all.

Lorugum sub county hospital was established in 2015 as a health center to deliver MNCH (Integrated Maternal Neonatal Child Health) services to the rural pastoral nomadic Turkana herdsmen and marginalized minority groups in Loima namely Nkebootok and Ichakun, and IDP’s. With the advent of devolution and reorganization of health services in Turkana, the facility was upgraded to a Sub County Hospital to serve as a referral CEMONC (comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care) Centre for other 35 health centers and dispensaries within Loima region. It is serving a population of about 250, 000 people in one of the poorest and remotest parts of North Western Kenya.

Turkana County since independence has had a plethora of health related challenges. This narrative is steadily and consistently changing for the better when the County Government with the help of its partners managed to reverse some of these worrying trends. Since accessing specialized health care was a big challenge, operating theatres and CeMONC centers have been constructed in Lorugum, Katilu, one is coming up in Lokitaung in the far North and before the year ends, one will be put in Elelea to serve Turkana East. This effectively is calculated to decongest Lodwar County Referral Hospital and take services closer to the people. Maternal mortality rate has come down from 1594/100,000 live births six years ago to the current 500/100,000 live births. Under 5 mortality rate has also reduced from 117/100 live births within the same period to 74/1000 live births and infant mortality rate has come down from 72/1000 live births to 52/1000 live births.

In 2016,DFID and its other agencies CICF,CHDP,UKAID,IRC in collaboration with the Turkana county government partnered to renovate maternity ward building to create a theatre and neonatal unit to provide specialized CEMONC services. This was part and parcel of the wider UK Government bid to improve maternal and new born health through County Innovation Challenge Fund that led to 5 counties benefitting Turkana being one of them. They equipped the theatre with surgical hardware and neonatal unit with baby incubators,phototherapy machines,continuous positive airway machines,and oxygen concentrators.Solar panels and a backup generator were installed to provide power in case of power outages.The anaesthetic machine came in with an inbuilt battery,ventilator ,oxygen concentrator and  patient monitor capable of sustaining an operation for upto 6 hours without use of power.This centre was commissioned by Turkana CEC Health Hon.Jane Ajele on 21.1.2019.From then on it was all systems go.

The climax of this narrative occurred when the hospital successfully carried out its first caesarian section on 8th February 2019 and delivered twin baby girls weighing 3,5kgs and 2.3kgs respectively. This heralded opening up of Loima Sub County at large to surgical operations not only for maternal related complications but also for other general surgical procedures. It’s intended as well to serve Eastern Uganda residents who drop by to access specialized services.

Hospital Vision is to be the CEMONC and referral hospital of choice for Loima Sub County and the region. The mission is to build a sustainable client centered health care system for attainment of the highest standard of health care at a cost which the community can afford in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination. The core obligation of Lorugum sub county is to implement Universal health coverage in line with the Kenya health policy  framework of 2014-20130 which has  two targets: One is to ensure access to quality health care as a fundamental human right to  a larger section of the population especially  the aged,the disabled,vulnerable and the poorest of the poor and secondly is to attain economic growth as contained in Kenya vision 2030.

Ejok noi kingarakinite namerikanyer.

Major rtd Dr.Ekiru James Kidalio

Medical superintendent Lorugum subcounty hospital.