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First Lady launches drone initiative for medical samples in Eldoret

  First lady Rachel Ruto. [David Njaaga, Standard]

First Lady Rachel Ruto has launched a drone initiative at Huruma Sub-County Hospital to collect medical samples from facilities across Uasin Gishu County for analysis.During the launch on June 11, the First Lady said the drone technology will aid in collecting samples from 117 public health facilities in the county.

"I have received information that the drone will transport medical samples from the Chagia Health Centre in Ainabkoi Constituency, the furthest health care centre in the county, to Huruma Sub-County Hospital in just seven minutes," she said.She explained that the results will be relayed electronically to specific health centres once the samples are analysed at a central facility.The innovation is a collaboration between Uasin Gishu County, Israeli, and German organisations to leverage technology in offering diagnosis before treatment.

Rachel Ruto noted that the partnership will improve healthcare access, particularly for those in remote areas who have been travelling to main towns for quality laboratory services.The First Lady also commissioned the first maternity hospital for maternal and neonatal services in Uasin Gishu County. The facility, formerly known as Westmaternity Hospital, has been renamed in her honour."With a capacity of 70 beds, this specialised maternity facility will ensure the safety and well-being of mothers and children. This will advance the country’s capacity to offer maternal, neonatal, prenatal, and paediatric care in the county and the larger North Rift region," she said.According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2022, 14.4 per cent of women in Uasin Gishu cannot access a health facility within an hour when in need of healthcare services.The newly launched facility features a fully equipped theatre, a stocked pharmacy, modern diagnostic ultrasound, an x-ray unit, and an ICT centre.The First Lady added that the facility's operation will boost maternal and neonatal healthcare services and serve as a referral centre for mother and baby emergency cases, aiming to reduce the mortality rate.

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