By Grace Maina/Release
Amref Health Africa in Kenya donated a Ksh7.8 million state-of-the-art ambulance to Mandera County, through a partnership with the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) at the Department of Family Health offices, Kenya Medical Training Centre, Nairobi.
Amref Health Kenya was acting in its capacity as project implementer of the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Hard to Reach Areas programme, which is financed by DANIDA.
The SRHR programme aims to reduce maternal and child mortality rates in target counties through facilitation of timely and efficient referrals of emergency obstetric cases.
Mandera County has the highest maternal and child mortality rates in Kenya with over 3795 per 100,000 live births against a national average of 488 per 100,000 live births.
“Health indicators in Mandera are unacceptably low. This ambulance will, therefore, go a long way in reversing the indicators and saving lives of women and children,” observed Hon Ahmed Sheikh Mohammed, Mandera County Health Executive, who was present at the ambulance handing-over ceremony.
“We are delighted that we have played an instrumental role in ensuring quality maternal, child and reproductive health services in hard to reach areas,” said Peter Ofware, Programme Manager at Amref Health Kenya, who was also present at the event.
The SRHR programme targets five counties, namely: Turkana, Marsabit, Isiolo, Wajir and Mandera. All five hard to reach counties have now received a Ksh 7.8 million ambulance each, through the project, with Mandera being the latest recipient. This brings the total spending to Sh39 million, underscoring Amref Health Africa’s commitment to improving health outcomes for marginalized communities.
Stefan Andersson, who was representing DANIDA, also noted that the ambulance should be maintained and well used by the county government of Mandera to ensure quality health to mothers and children in the region.
The purchase of all the five ambulances was made possible by the generosity of DANIDA. Amref was awarded the grant to implement the five-year SRHR project in 2012. The procurement and provision of the five ambulances was one of the key deliverables of the grant.
So far a total of 490 obstetric cases have been referred in the SRHR target counties. In addition to these, an additional 251 other referrals have been made. The number is expected to pick up in light of the provision of the ambulance to Mandera.
Amref has, therefore, been a resourceful and reliable partner to DANIDA, leveraging on its six decades of experience offering health solutions to Kenyans in the grass roots.