Lodwar, 27th July 2023 (Governor’s Press Service) – Turkana County is set to benefit from a new project that aims to address the gaps in primary healthcare provision.

Kenya Paediatric Research Consortium (KEPRECON) will implement the three-year Championing Evidence Based Advocacy (CEBA) project, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Speaking yesterday evening while hosting the team from KEPRECON, Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai pointed out that health was a key pillar of the 9-point agenda, with a strong focus on improving the well-being and health of the residents aiming to uplift the overall quality of life in Turkana.

“The scarcity of food and nutrition challenges, especially among our children, required urgent attention. We had to seek innovative ways to address these issues and ensure a healthier future for our community,” said the Governor.

He also highlighted the county’s intention to explore underground water sources to support farming and food production to make the county’s food secure.

The KEPRECON team, led by Dr Nelly Bosire, revealed that Turkana is one of the 15 counties in the CEBA project that would be implemented to revolutionize primary healthcare and reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health and nutrition (PHC/RMNCAH+N).

The Governor shared his plans for infrastructure development, emphasizing the need to open up feeder roads to reach people in remote areas and improve access to healthcare facilities.

County First Lilian Ekamais, who was present said: “We must ensure equitable access to primary healthcare including the remotest areas of our region. Let us unite and work together to improve healthcare access to all residents of Turkana County.”

Chair of the County Assembly Committee for Health, Bethwel Kobongin, assured the committee’s support for the CEBA project and outlined its plan to incorporate the programming into the county’s budget, ensuring its sustainability even after the end of the project.

County Executive Committee Member for Health, Dr Antony Apalia, said that the county department was proactively increasing awareness and advocacy on the valuable data it possesses; setting a precedent for data-driven decision-making.

Dr Bosire, the Technical Lead in Advocacy Capacity Strengthening, said Turkana had a distinctive geographical advantage bordering three countries, with the potential to become a central hub, leveraging cross-border collaborations for lasting healthcare impact.

The Senior Program Advisor with KEPRICON, Dr Dan Odallo, commended Turkana County for its One Health initiative, which aimed to provide comprehensive health services.

Dr Odallo also proposed advocacy training for healthcare professionals to empower them in advocating for evidence-based policies that would benefit the community’s health.

Other MCAs present were Linus Echeme (Kalapata), Sarah Abdi (nominated),  Linet Abok (nominated), Vincent Ekipor (Lokichoggio), Julius Edung (Kalobeyei) and Helen Kaile (nominated).

Senior County officials present were Chief Officers Dr Gilchrist Lokoel (Medical Services) and Peter Lomurukai (Preventive and Promotive); Chief of Staff Peter Yoromoe along with a host of Directors from the County Department of Health and Sanitation.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024