by Lorraine Anyango
The United Cities and Local Governments in Africa (UCLGA) did not just hold the Africities in Kisumu County, it’s now facilitating a partnership that will enhance access to quality health in the very region.
This partnership between the Regional Council of Rabat-Sale-Kenitra in Morocco has also been carried out in conjunction with the Association Les Rangs d’Honneur.
The partnership brings together Moroccan volunteer doctors carrying out health assistance missions to partner communities in other African countries.
This program forms part of the projects launched by the African Fund for International Decentralized Cooperation (FACDI) of the Directorate General of the Territorial Collectivities (DGTC).
Following the provisions of the FACDI, the Partner Local Governments will bear 40% of the cost of the project (30% for the Moroccan community and 10% for Kisumu County), and 60% of the cost will be borne by the FACDI
Yesterday saw the baby steps of this partnership, Dr. Bennani Nouredinne of the Rangs D’Honnevr Association started a four days tour of health facilities in Kisumu County, in a fact-finding mission to establish specific areas of collaboration.
Dr. Nouredinne was accompanied by the Chief Officer for Health Dr. Gregory Ganda and Mrs. Gladys Nyabudi and Dr. Bernard Owino who is the County family physician who will be in charge of the project here in Kisumu.
The team was received by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital’s (JOOTRH)s Chief Executive Officer Dr. George Rae and the Hospitals executive committee members.
Kisumu’s health department has relied on specialized services through partnerships that have been able to carry out neurosurgical and orthopedic surgical camps.
These missions bring specialists in various medical fields to offer care to underserved communities.
One of the main gains expected through this new initiative is an exchange of knowledge during the medical camps.
The team of specialists from the Association Les Rangs d’Honneur proposes to conduct a health mission in conjunction with its counterparts from Kisumu County.
The medical camp will be held at JOOTRH. The team will also organize outreach camps in the rural parts of the county. The outreaches mainly focus on screening for conditions within the communities including non-communicable diseases which are on an upward trend as well as management of common conditions while referring the more complex cases to the tertiary facilities.
The specialist will also provide training to local health staff in Kisumu through mentorship at JOOTRH. The specialists would be attached at JOOTRH for a three to six months period during which they train the local health workforce on specific areas identified with gaps.
There will also be periodic visits to continue mentoring the local health workers. Through this skill transfer, the project will be sustainable and the community receives the maximum benefit as the local health workforce remains empowered to continue offering the specialized services learned.
The areas proposed for training include emergency and trauma care, surgery, anesthesia, nursing, critical care (ICU), renal medicine, oncology, and public health.
The trauma center at Nyabondo Mission Hospital is also scheduled to be operationalized. The newly constructed facility will provide trauma care to the entire region. The facility has a theater and intensive care unit. Therefore, a team of specialist doctors, nurses, and anesthetists is essential to its functionality.