The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated 15 ambulances to support reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) in six counties, Migori, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo and Lamu. WHO is among six UN agencies (UN H6) supporting these counties through an initiative of the UN RMNCH Trust Fund. The objective of the initiative is to strengthen health services for reduction the of maternal and child mortality, in line with the SDG3 targets. The other agencies in the partnership are, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women, UNAIDS, and World Bank.
The six target counties have the highest number of maternal and newborn deaths in the country and the governors in these counties in 2015, committed to increased action towards reducing these preventable deaths.
The focus of WHO support in this initiative is development of county-specific costed referral strategies covering movement of patients, specimens, parameters movement and specialists. It also covers emergency life-support training for ambulance crews and health workers.
The UN H6 support will continue over the next four years to support these interventions and address other identified needs by the counties and Ministry of Health.
The ambulance-launching event was presided over by Dr. Patrick Amoth, head of Intergovernmental Relations on behalf of the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko. He thanked WHO for the support and the counties for prioritising maternal and child survival matters as key intervention areas. He promised continued support of the National Government in the implementation of the initiative.
WHO Country Representative, Dr. Rudi Eggers highlighted WHO’s commitment to supporting the country so it can achieve health systems strengthening and reduce existing disparities in RMNCAH.
The ambulances were received by among others Dr. Muhammed B Kombo, CEC Lamu who thanked WHO and said the ambulances would go a long way to support county efforts in reduction of maternal mortality. Chief Officer for Health, Migori, Dr. Dalmas Oyugi said the support from the UN agencies over the past two years had resulted in fewer mothers and children dying in his county. He however stressed the need for a boat ambulance to serve those living on the islands within the county. Lamu also has a similar need.
Others who attended the event and received ambulances for their counties are Dr. Koch Adanodiba, Marsabit County Director of Health, Dr. Dahir Ibrahim Somo, Wajir County Director of Health, and Dr. Mohamed Duba, Isiolo County Director, Health.
This story was sourced from the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa website.