February 23, 2024 (Public Communication and Media Relations)

County One Health Unit is set to roll out comprehensive training programs focusing on zoonotic and vaccine-preventable diseases to reduce their incidences and increase vaccine uptake respectively.

The training, which would target community health promoters (CHPs) and community disease reporters (CDRs), will aim to strengthen community-based surveillance and enhance the immunisation of defaulter cases.

This follows a field visit conducted by the Unit, led by Rotich Kipkorir – One Health Focal Person (Department of Health and Sanitation) and representatives from the International Rescue Committee Core Group Partners Project (IRC CGPP) led by Dr Abukar Siraj from the CGPP Secretariat.

The team visited seven out of the 19 border health facilities supported by CGPP.

During the visit, the team conducted interviews with community mobilizers supported by IRC CGPP, and facility in-charges and engaged with the community Lokiriama, Lochor-Alomala, and Lorengippi in Lokirima Sub-county.

In Lokichoggio Sub-county, the team visited Nanam and Nakururum; then finally Oropi and Nalaptui in Turkana West Sub-county.

According to Kipkorir, a community mobiliser are expected to spend 70 percent of their time in the community delivering health talks on the significance of immunization and focusing on priority zoonotic diseases; rabies, Rift Valley Fever, trypanosomiasis, brucellosis, and anthrax.

He further added that the role of a community mobiliser is be to a link between the community and health facility. They also assist the community health assistant in establishing links with CHPs and CDRs.

“The purpose of the field visit was to ensure effective collaboration between CHPs and CDRs at the community level, evaluating their communication of information regarding immunization and zoonotic diseases to the community,” he said.

The Facility in charge of AIC Nanam Health Centre, Kipkorir Cheruiyot, recommended that CDRs should be encouraged to participate in the monthly CHP meeting at the health facilities to foster a seamless community awareness creation.

Esther Akiru, a resident of Nawaitorong in Nanam Ward, shared her learned knowledge to identify an animal that died of anthrax and how to appropriately dispose of it.

“If a cow has a late abortion, then it is a sign that it has brucellosis. To avoid getting the disease, one has to boil the milk before consumption,” she said.

Representing the Veterinary Department, Dr Job Rono – County Veterinary Officer, Disease Control and Surveillance – said that the number of the CDRs would increase to 300, translating to 10 per ward, once the Governor assents to the Animal Health Bill.

The team also briefed the Deputy County Commissioners and Sub-county Administrators of Lokichoggio and Turkana West sub-counties on the proposed County One Health Coordination Committee Terms of Reference.

One Health acknowledges the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, promoting a collaborative approach to address health threats through a multi-sectoral approach.

As such the One Health in the county government is domiciled in the Departments of Health, Veterinary Services, Environment, and a recent addition Water Services.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024