2018年09月17日

KENYA LAGS BEHIND IN TOILET PENETRATION

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Kenya lags behind her neighbours in the number of people defecating in the open, with 5.6 million people not using toilets, according to a Unicef report.

This figure is 12 percent of the total population.

Unicef expert Andrew Trevett said open defecation was of particular concern to the fund because germs that cause diarrhoea, cholera and also worm infection are spread this way.

“Diarrhoea is the second greatest cause of death in children,” said Trevett. “When children get diarrhoea or worms, they become malnourished.”

This is a big problem, because at least 29.9 percent of children aged below five have moderately stunted growth, with another 13 per cent underweight because they do not get sufficient nutrients for optimal physical and mental development.

“Due to inadequate toilets or because it is dangerous to go to the toilet at night, people poop in a bag and then throw out the bag in the open, which is ‘flying the toilet’,” said Andrew Trevett
Only 13 per cent (8,378) of villages in Kenya have been certified to be open defecation free out of 68,362 villages, but this is an improvement as only 8 per cent of villages had this status in 2016, according to the Ministry of Health.

HILDA
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NAIROBI’S GOVERNOR SONKO STARTS SCHOOL MILK PROGRAMME

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The Nairobi county government in partnership with Brookside Dairy Limited has rolled out free milk program for all ECDE pupils in the country.

The program targets 17,000 under 5 children in 225 ECDE centers in the city.

It aims at impacting on the children’s values of nutrition and the benefits of consuming dairy products for healthy growth and development.

This kind of nutrition as well reduces the possibility to contract disease easily because of improved immunity.

Each pupil will receive a packet of milk twice in a week.

It will also increase both school attendance and retention levels which are vital for the realization of the National Goals of Education.

PAULINE WANJIKU
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FIRST LADY LAUNCHES MEDICAL SAFARI


First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has officially launched the first-ever ‘Free Medical Safari’ to boost health care among residents in rural areas.

Mrs Kenyatta said the objective of the program is to provide integrated and specialized health care to all groups such as women, children and the elderly.

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We are committed to improving health and well-being of women, children and families,” said Mrs Kenyatta, during the launch on September 16, 2018 in Narok county.

The First Lady also launched the Elimination of Mother to Child HIV infection Narok Chapter Plan and said no mother or child should die of preventable ailments.

The First Lady who was accompanied by the Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki and Dr Jackson Kioko (Director Health Services) urged Kenyans to enroll to the NHIF program and especially the Linda Mama initiative for women.

Dikens Muchena


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ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN TO BE COVERED IN HEALTH INSURANCE

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State health insurer, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) targets to enroll over 360,000 Orphans and Vulnerable for Universal Health Coverage by 2019.

Through the Health Insurance Subsidy Program (HISP) will come at an annual cost of Sh2 billion.

NHIF is currently implementing health insurance subsidy programmes which targets the poor and vulnerable who are unable to access health services due to financial barriers.

“The HISP program targets Orphans and Vulnerable Children households identified by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the NHIF premiums are financed by the Government to ensure access to the quality health care services as prescribed under NHIF National Scheme Cover.

Through this financial support, NHIF has witnessed positive gains with the increase in the number of vulnerable households covered by NHIF has increased from 21,000 households in 2014 to 181,000 households as at June 2018.

Noting that there are approximately 9 million Kenyans who are classified as absolutely poor, NHIF will continue to support the Government’s efforts to realize UHC by progressively expanding coverage to reach more poor and vulnerable households.

Calvin Ouma
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POLIO VACCINATION INTENSIFIES IN KENYA

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The round one vaccination campaign against polio in 12 high-risk counties is underway.

The latest round targets children under five years, who will get the bivalent oral polio vaccine.

According to Jamal Abdi, a community health promotion officer with the International Rescue Centre, the teams have one ambitious target; to immunize 35,000 children in each county by the end of the campaign.

Because of the war in Somalia, and neighbouring counties in Kenya children in that country routinely miss out on immunisation for the paralysing disease, leaving them vulnerable even in their teenage years, sometimes beyond.

Polio is a contagious disease that can be caused by poor hand-washing, poor hygiene or ingestion of faecal matter that has the polio virus.

Counties near Somalia are particularly vulnerable because of the weak soil structure that causes latrines to collapse.

And because the area is arid, water is scarce, making the community vulnerable to sanitation diseases such as cholera and polio.

Movement across the porous border makes the population at the refugee camp particularly vulnerable because some of the refugee have regular contact with their relatives or acquaintances from Somalia.

According to Dr Peter Okoth, a health specialist with Unicef, every unimmunised child puts every child in Kenya at risk of contracting polio.

According to Dr Orkhan Nasibov, the senior public health officer with UNHCR in Dadaab, the aim now is to kick polio out of the Horn of Africa.

“We want the region to be clean of polio,” he says.

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ABUTA OGETO
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