Mandera County Government has entered into an agreement with the Kenya Red Cross Society to provide specialist ambulance services for medical referrals.
According to the Governor Ali Roba, Mandera County recorded 3,795 deaths per 100,000 births last year, with the majority of them being caused by inaccessibility to health facilities.
He lauded the partnership between his county government and the Red Cross, terming it as a big step in ensuring Mandera residents enjoy their most fundamental right; the right to life.
“The number of infant deaths recorded last year is the highest national maternal mortality rate ever recorded in the world. It’s very sad it is happening in a sovereign state that has been independent for 50 years.
“The county government has partnered with the Kenya Red Cross Society and has signed a contract to get six brand new ambulances with six more expected in the next two months to make medical facilities more accessible,” he added.
Roba further added that Mandera County Government inherited a health sector with 52 registered health centres.
However, only 10 per cent of these were operational, with a skilled work force of 150.
This lack of adequate medical facilities and inaccessibility of the few existing ones led to the record high maternal mortality rate being recorded in the area.
“Mandera County has poor infrastructure and health facilities are far apart. Only 30 per cent of the population lives within the 5km range of a health facility.
“The flagging off of six ambulances which will be located strategically across the county will go a long way to provide swift referral and care in transit,” said the county chief.
The ambulances come with complete medical emergency supplies, staff and equipment, and one of the six has mini-ICU capability.
They will be used on outreach services as well and are equipped with radio call network so that they can be reached with ease when out on outreach services.
According to the governor, this will be a milestone in the history of the county since there has not been an emergency service before.