• County opens first two dispensaries along the Kenya-Uganda border.
• Governor calls on the national government to increase funding to the counties.
The first dispensaries along the Kenya-Uganda border have been opened in Moruebong and Morwongar villages in Pokot North subcounty.
The two dispensaries, built at a cost of Sh5.4 million, were launched on Saturday to serve the residents of Riwo, Suam, Kales and Karita who have been trekking tens of kilometres to Kacheliba Subcounty Hospital and Karita Hospital in Uganda for treatment.
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said the facilities will improve immunisation and maternal health care.
“We have deployed two nurses and nutritionists who will be attached to the facilities to address cases of stunted growth and malnutrition,” the governor said.
He said the dispensaries had taken health services closer to people.
“These dispensaries will save many people. We have tried our best to reduce the distance residents have to travel for health services,” Lonyangapuo said.
Ten dispensaries have been set up in Pokot North and 38 in the whole county in the past one and half years.
“We have equipped it with drugs and employed 114 new nurses. We have plans to build maternity and general wards,” he said.
He called on the national government to increase funding to the counties.
The governor also flagged off a consignment of drugs worth Sh25 million to 137 rural health facilities.
Health CEC Geoffrey Lipale said many mothers have died giving birth at home due to lack of health centres.
Lipale urged expectant mothers to seek delivery services in health centres to stop deaths related to fistula and reduce child-mother mortality.
He said 444 out of 100,000 mothers die annually in the county of delivery complications.
Woman Representative Lillian Tomitom called on residents to make use of the facilities.
“Sick and expectant mothers have suffered. There is a need for the national assembly to pass a bill to add more cash for counties to improve health,” she said.
Kacheliba MP Mark Lomunokol said the county was marginalised before devolution.
“We were left behind in development for a long time,” the MP said.
Ann Chelimo was overjoyed, noting that children have been vulnerable to malaria, typhoid, brucellosis (a bacterial infection that spreads from animals to people via unpasteurised milk and other dairy products) and water-borne diseases.
“We have suffered due to lack of transport and opt to give birth at home. We will no longer travel to Kacheliba to get treatment,” she said.
(Edited by R.Wamochie)