Health

Lodwar county referral hospital acquires laundry machines to boost hygiene

2015-03-27 13:30:54 Turkanaguardian
health executive jane ajele closes the dryer machine as lodwar med sup dr. Gilchrist Lokoel looks on PHOTO: ROBERT KARIUKI
health executive jane ajele closes the dryer machine as lodwar med sup dr. Gilchrist Lokoel looks on PHOTO: ROBERT KARIUKI

BY ROBERT KARIUKI LODWAR, TURKANA SOUTH

Hygiene at the Lodwar county referral hospital is set to improve after the launch of three laundry machines, including a washing machine, a dryer and an ironer. The machines which were launched by county health and sanitation executive Jane Ajele earlier this month will be used to clean clothes, beddings and official garments used by patients and the hospital staff.

The machines were procured at a cost of Ksh. 15 million from Total Solution Health firm and will be operated by locally trained personnel. Some years ago, the national government gave the hospital with only a washing machine. But after years of service to the 200-bed hospital, there was need for quick replacement.
It is anticipated the purchase of the three machines will reduce the time used to clean, dry and iron a large quantity of clothes and will also use less labour.
It will require about three trained personnel to operate the machines which will clean, dry and iron more than 200 clothes in just 6 hours.
The Health executive Jane Ajele said that this was the first time the hospital received a complete set of laundry machines, “This is the first time we are having a washing machine, a dryer and an ironer together, we can now be sure that patients using sheets and linens are safe because everything is now up to standards,” she said.

“We have also confirmed that the ironer irons at 80 degrees Celsius meaning that all micro-organisms are destroyed and we have also seen that the washing machine uses Jik as a laundry detergent so the quality is not compromised, all fungal, bacterial or viral micro-organisms will be completely destroyed,” the executive added.

Although the machines will benefit the patients and staff, the hospital will have to grapple with power bills. “Though the electricity bills will go up we know that our customers (patients) will be satisfied and whatever they will be paying will act as a supplement to what we have.
Those with NHIF cards will be paying higher because they are taken care of Part of a classroom structure used earlier beforethe construction of new classrooms by the insurance funds, we don’t want to bring other revenue generating activities because that will create a different picture,” said Ms. Ajele.
Lodwar county referral hospital medical superintendent Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel said, “It is in the interest of patients that the ministry decided to get these big and powerful machines to ensure that the An ambulance.


aspect of service delivery to the patients has been improved,” he said.
Dr. Lokoel also explained that funds for paying electricity bills will be generated from the hospital. “The reason why we have facility improvement funds is so that we can take care of such issues, so the money we receive from the cost-sharing plus our budget allocation is able to cater for everything so that the patient can be healthy in the long run,” he added.
The acquisition of the machines is part of an on-going project to upgrade the facility to a teaching and referral hospital in the next few years.

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Amudat patients walk 80 kilometres for X-ray service

2015-01-12 11:32:22 Turkanaguardian

Amudat patients walk 80 kilometres for X-ray service

She said Amudat hospital serves more than 10,000 cases that are referred from remote health centres in Amudat district and appealed the ministry of health to consider giving Amudat hospital the x-ray machine and scanner so as to rescue Ugandans people from walking long distance to Kenya.

 

BY STEVEN ARIONG AMUDAT, UGANDA
Hundreds of patients in Amudat district have to walk a distance of 80 kilometres to Kenya to access x-ray services due to lack of an x-ray machine in the only district hospital, Amudat authorities have said.
Mrs. Becky Acocor, the Amudat district LCV women councillor representing Amudat district town council said lack of an x-ray machine in the hospital was a disgrace to Amudat community.
She said the hospital, which was established by Church of Uganda missionaries in early 70’s before it started receiving full support from government was well equipped but it’s not clear how the hospital equipment disappeared.
“Our people walk several kilometres to hospitals such as Alale, Kacheliba and Makutano in Kenya to access x-ray services and this is a shame to us leaders in Amudat yet the hospital used to have all these machines and we are not even informed how these machines disappeared,” she said.
She said Amudat hospital serves more than 10,000 cases that are referred from remote health centres in Amudat district and appealed the ministry of health to consider giving Amudat hospital the x-ray machine and scanner so as to rescue Ugandans people from walking long distance to Kenya.
She called upon government to consider upgrading some of the health centres II to health centres III and create more health centres in the parishes were health facilities are far way.
Mrs. Acocor also appealed the team from the National Medical Stores (NMS) to always consult the district leaders before taking drugs to the hospital.
“We thank NMS of being active in delivering medicines to Amudat hospital but they should always consult leaders before delivering drugs to the hospital because we have noticed that they give Amudat a lot of drugs including those whose diseases are not found in Amudat and later on ost of these drugs are destroyed. This is wastage of government drugs,” she said.
Ms. Sarah Akello the Amudat hospital administrator confirmed the hospital has no x-ray machine but declined to give details.
“What I know is that we don’t have an x-ray machine in the hospital and Amudat hospital is fully receiving support from government although it was a private founded hospital,” she said.
Mr. Stephen Nsubuga Bewayo, the Amudat resident district commissioner said he was shocked over lack of an x-ray machine in the hospital and wondered why the hospital administration had been keeping quite.

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Vulnerable groups in need of proper food distribution pattern

2015-01-12 10:08:00 Turkanaguardian

A large number of Turkana people have been missing out on the relief items given to the needy people due to the poor distribution system.

BY ROBERT KARIUKI LODWAR, TURKANA CENTRAL

Vulnerable groups in need of proper food distribution pattern

Vulnerable groups in need of proper food distribution pattern

A large number of Turkana people have been missing out on the relief items given to the needy people due to the poor distribution system.
Malnourished people, pregnant women, elderly people, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis victims, psychological and the physically challenged all qualify to be grouped under the vulnerable group.
Poverty is the main and common contributor to vulnerability, which comes along with malnutrition, homelessness, poor shelter and destitution. This group faces a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion than the general population. They often face exclusion from social services for a variety of reasons, the same services which the rest receive without
much effort put.
In most circumstances it is more costly to serve a vulnerable group because they are often more difficult to reach, some are perceived as higher risks making them difficult to handle or may require a special kind of approach that suits them better in their unique situations.
Individuals in the vulnerable group do not have the capability to respond accordingly or be resilient in case a
disaster or an emergency strikes.
Evene when relief food donations is brought to them by donors, a large number of them end up not benefiting. All they left with is sharing the sad stories of how food distribution turned out to be a sham with those not even supposed to benefit smiling all the way to their homes.

In Turkana county, improper, disorganized, unplanned food distribution patterns has been and is still a menace to the lives of the vulnerable group, and as some describe it, ‘relief food donations brings more Mark Nakain distributing food at the Social Ministry office.

PHOTOS: ROBERT KARIUKI harm than good.’
During a food distribution process carried out last month at the social ministry’s office, Diocese of Lodwar, group chairpersons from Turkanacentral sub-county all gathered as they represented their members who were physically present too waiting to get a share of the donated food.
The distribution process was quiet,organized and planned that anyone could barely recognize an activity
was taking place. Turkana central
sub-county disabled group chairman, Mark Nakain and Kanamkemer
disabled group chairman, Peter Lokamar said that food donated and distributed by the county government does not end up benefiting the targeted group because of unnecessary complications that occur during
distribution.

“Food being distributed with the county government undergoes lots of complications, I don’t know why, but the beneficiaries end up on the losing side. When food is to be distributed, we should sit down and plan as group leaders in doing so we will avoid these chaos that erupt now and then,”

said Peter Lokamar.
“It is very sad to see a disabled person being dragged away as he holds on to a bag of maize, he is dragged on the ground as the other person who is normal trying hard to snatch his share, this is the kind of scenes seen when the county govern-
ment is distributing food,” said Mark
Nakain.
“We need an organized and systematic way of distributing food to the vulnerable members of the community, the county government through its respective ministry should involve group leaders because they can identify their members who cannot reach the distribution points and organize how their shares will reach to them,”
Mr. Mark Nakain added.
He however warned those beneficiaries who barter trade their donations in exchange with alcohol saying they risk being deleted from the members list and their names replaced by others. “Some members
within some groups are noted to be misbehaving, they sell their donations and in exchange they receive alcohol which instead of benefiting them it ends up destroying them and even heightening their vulnerability, these people risk being eliminated and soon we are going to do away with them because if a donor from abroad discovers this trend, then he
or she will cut off the donations and we can’t risk,”said Nakain.
Nakain also explained: “The county executive cannot be on the ground when distribution is going on, he is responsible in making sure the food reaches a certain locality and that is where group leaders should be involved, to make sure everyone is benefiting”
The leaders complained that they have been excluded from the distribution plans hence causing problems during the process.
In an interview with the Turkanaguardian, the county executive in charge of public service, decentralized administration and disaster management, Charles Lokioto said beginning this year they will organize a talk with the leaders so that they can sort out their issues and plan on the way forward.
However he said these groups are hard to identify sometimes. “This is a difficulty we have been experiencing because some groups are not known to exist and are not on the records but this is an issue we will look into with group leaders so that when we distribute food we will be knowing the number of beneficiaries and also we want to involve those leaders during the distribution process so that it can be easier on both sides,” said the
county executive.

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Tullow invests hugely on education in Turkana

2015-01-11 13:20:35 Turkanaguardian

Tullow invests hugely on education in Turkana

The education sector in Turkana received a huge boost in 2014 after Tullow Oil Company through its social investment projects focused on the sector, which has been underdeveloped for many years.

Lokiriama primary school pupils entertain guests during the school’s girls dormitory construction fundraising presided by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi in Lorengippi in August 2014

Lokiriama primary school pupils entertain guests during the school’s girls dormitory construction fundraising presided by Baringo Senator Gideon
Moi in Lorengippi in August 2014

BY ROBERT KARIUKI
LODWAR, TURKANA CENTRAL

Apart from the education sector, health, water, agriculture, infrastructure and trade sectors equally benefited. Last year, Tullow Kenya committed Kshs. 400 million across its operational areas towards social investment projects.
Some of the notable education projects included the construction of a Kshs. 3 million girls dormitory at Nachukui primary school in Turkana north subcounty. The company also spent Kshs. 2.4 million in installing solar powered lighting systems for classrooms, dormitories, a laboratory and administration offices at Kerio boys’ secondary school in Turkana central sub-county.
Through the Turkana education programme, the company invested Kshs. 30 million in providing bursaries to more than 3,000 secondary school students from the county and more so, it spent Kshs. 16 million in providing full secondary school scholarships to 55 bright and needy students from the county.
The company also awarded 15 Masters’ degree scholarships worth Kshs. 75 million to scholars from the county as part of the company’s annual Tullow group scholarship scheme (TGSS)
Speaking to the Turkana Guardian at Kataboi, Turkana north sub-county
advisory committee chairperson, Peter Napak said the education sector has received immense support from the company through provision of bursary funds and setting up of structures in schools.

“The company agreed to give us Sh.3 million as bursary funds which we distributed to all centres within Turkana north and in the next disbursement of those funds we negotiated and they increased the amount to Sh. 5 million for both secondary and tertiary education and we distribute this money according to the demands of the six wards we have here,” said Mr. Napak.

“Boys and girls who attain more than 350 and 300 marks respectively in their K.C.P.E exams are awarded scholarships
whereby everything is provided for by the company. The construction of a dormitory at Kataboi girls’ secondary school was earlier commissioned and it was eagerly awaited because the girls used to sleep in the dining hall,” he added.
Tullow public affairs officer, Jackson Nakusa told the Turkana Guardian that the sector is among those greatly benefiting as the company is seeking to improve it. “We are giving bursaries, scholarships for those students going outside the country, full scholarships for both boys and girls who have completed primary education and performed well and we are also doing school structures like constructing dormitories, putting up fences in schools and also providing boarding children with beddings,” the officer said.
He also highlighted other upcoming projects in other sectors. “We are planning to do agriculture projects in Turkana south and some parts of Turkana east and the plan is already out so that will be happening soon. We are also doing three big dispensaries in Turkana central, south and east and those will help deal with health issues especially where people are residing as they follow Tullow activities,” Mr. Nakusa said.
The education sector is even going to be in a better position this year after the company in November last year announced that it will start offering vocational training scholarships, which will see more than 1,000 Kenyans get opportunities to pursue short term courses including welding and carpentry. The new courses will be offered as part of the extended Tullow group scholarship scheme targeting those who may have ambition to apply for the Tullow master’s degree scholarship.

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