January 26, 2024 (Public Communication and Media Relations)
County Executive for Health and Sanitation, Dr. Francis Iris Mariao led a team including Sub-county Health Management officers and UNICEF Kenya representatives to assess the status of the measles outreach emergency response in Letea Ward, Turkana West Sub-county.
The response, which began in mid-November 2023, was initiated at the village of Lokipoto and reported a surge in measles cases. It was a similar response as seen in Nalapatui, Kalobeyei Ward earlier in the year.
While the Nalapatui response focused on home-based care and follow-ups, in Lokipoto, the department opted to establish a case management center at the local dispensary.
Supported by USAID NAWIRI, USAID Imarisha Jamii, Welthungerhilfe, and International Rescue Committee Core Group Partners’ Project, the center had managed to slow down the spread of the disease as community health promoters had intensified case finding at the household level.
During a briefing with the dispensary staff and community representatives, Dr Mariao lauded the efforts of the staff, case management team, local community, and various partners involved in the emergency response.
“The way forward on how to end this outbreak will be discussed in an upcoming meeting with the senior health management team and partners,” he said.
The county executive was accompanied by Dr. Nelson Lolos and Rose Kendagun from UNICEF Kenya Lodwar Zonal Office, Joel Lochor (Sub-county Medical Officer of Health) and John Ateyo (Sub-county Public Health Nurse).
Another team led by Dr David Moru – Acting Director for Health Products and Technologies, conducted a similar assessment at Kakuma Sub-county Hospital and neighboring dispensaries.
At the hospital, the team interrogated caregivers of admitted measles patients to ascertain their villages and migratory routes. It is known that the highly mobile pastoralists in the sub-county are vulnerable to missed opportunities for immunization.
The team also urged the women to disseminate knowledge to their fellow villagers about the importance of immunisation and if any child presented a rash to take them to the nearest health facility for assessment and treatment