Raids hotspots and healthcare in Turkana

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Turkana warriors watering animals at water point.

Nakwamoru health centre was once the best hospital in Turkana south. But Nowdays things are changing for unknown reasons. This health facility is under ownership of Kenya Episcopal conference-Catholic Secretariat and it partner with the Ministry of Health to meet common objectives .It offers health services such as ART-Anti-retroviral Therapy, Community Integrated Management of Childhood Illness,Family Planning, Home Based Care and Inpatient department

The Hospital had higher performance not by chance even patients from other health facilities were being referred to “white Stone ” hospital as the name depicts.

If you cross R. Turkwel towards the other side ,there is Kaputir Dispensary which has been upgraded into Health centre and owned by Ministry Of Health under Turkana county government. Recently ,before WASH supported them with masonry water tank (50m3), expectant women used go to Nakwamoru health mission center (15KM away) for delivery because of lack of enough water at the facility.

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Masonry water tank (50M3) at Kaputir health centre supported by WASH

Nakwamoru location is under kaputir ward. These areas are claimed to be the hotspots of raids .killings are the norms and the order of the day. Nakwomoru and Kaputir herders are avoiding grazing their livestock along the Turkwel River in groups as large herds can easily attract an ambush. The two facilities are life saving during raids, whenever a warrior survive a bullet as result of “fire” exchange, bleeding and Minor surgeries are attended upon arrival of the victims.

Insecurity is paralyzing and compromising the health sector in these particular region .in rare cases you can find health research and surveys being conducted in those places because even the the researchers have that phobia of their brains being blown away by a projectile “thing ” expelled from the barrel of a firearm. I observed that, during immunizations programs like Polio virus vaccinations which is administered against poliomyelitis ( characterized by acute paralysis of lower extremes) the access to Ngarumrumio(small clustered homesteads) is very limited and from my own point of view, I don’t think if immunization coverage often attained whenever immunization is carried out . since then accessibility is refrained, missed opportunities are inevitable.The main obstacle here is insecurity. Insecurity is not even a song is a chorus in side a song we keep on reminding our leaders . if were not insecurity and poor infrastructure such as roads, either Nakwamoru or Kaputir health facility could have been transformed to District Hospital which neither of them is. Right now we have only one District Hospital at Lokichar in Turkana South which is not even operational.its one of projects funded by Tullow oil company to benefit the local community in future and i still puzzling over how sooner will it be operational.

Turkana east is another concern. when security is breached, daily normal activities are impaired.Earlier this year at the end of February, access to healthcare services were disrupted in Kamuge and Lomelo of Turkana East sub county following a wave of insecurity that had had hit the area.Health workers fled the area due to insecurity leaving the residents vulnerable. Consequently, a chief was forced to take up additional roles of providing security and administering non complicated treatment to residents of Kamuge.
Insecurity really is a threat to our health care system in Turkana especially borderline of Turkana East and South.
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