Monday, 1 July, 2019
Amref Health Africa in Kenya’s Board of Directors led by Board Chair Ms Eunice Mathu paid a courtesy call to the Turkana County Executive Committee Member of Health and Sanitation Hon. Jane Ajele on Thursday, 27 June 2019.
During the visit, the County Government signed two agreements with Amref Health Africa in Kenya that will serve to strengthen further collaboration and partnership through the USAID- funded Afya Timiza activity. The first was the signing of a Letter of Agreement for Afya Timiza supported Contract Health Workers presided over by the Deputy County Secretary Robert Loyelei. The second was a Letter of Commitment on the project’s Technical Assistance Package witnessed by Amref Health Africa in Kenya Board of Directors led by Eunice Mathu. Ms Mathu welcomed the agreements noting that it was the right step towards strengthening partnership between the County Government and Amref on areas such as amendment of the Health Bill and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). CEC for Health Jane Ajele thanked Afya Timiza for the support received so far towards the realisation of UHC.
The delegation proceeded to the Lorugum Sub County Hospital Community Health Unit which doubles up as a key referral site for rural health facilities covering an estimated 1,527 households. The team had the opportunity to see work in various service areas supported through the Afya Timiza activity including maternal and new-born health, family planning, child health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health systems strengthening and quality improvement.
During the visit, community members expressed their gratitude for the big role Amref continues to play in not only easing access to health services via community health workers (CHWs), but also by equipping them with knowledge on practices such as kitchen gardening, as well as engaging in projects that empower them economically hence becoming self-sufficient.
“We are a blessed lot to have gained knowledge and skills in educating our communities on reproductive health, WASH & nutrition from Afya Timiza. This has improved our health indicators especially among children and mothers,” said Dorcas Ekusi, a community health worker serving Lorugum Community Health Unit.
n his part, Amref Health Africa in Kenya Country Director Dr Meshack Ndirangu commended the County Government of Turkana for the huge milestones made towards the realisation of better health care for its people as it positively impacts their socio-economic welfare. He noted that this is proof of how impactful devolution can be with proper leadership and management. On behalf of Amref, Dr Ndirangu made a commitment to continue partnering with the County towards achieving their set health plans.
Afya Timiza Deputy Chief of Party Dr Dickson Mwakangalu noted that by the end of the five-year implementation period, they hope to provide support to 70 facilities in areas such as community health systems strengthening and capacity building of health staff.
With the support of USAID, Afya Timiza currently supports 46 health facilities in three sub counties of Turkana County, serving a population of 484, 211 – 2009 estimates.