Migori residents can now breathe a sigh of relief after the county launched a four-months outreach program to bring healthcare services to their doorsteps.
The initiative dubbed ‘Mama Agnes Ayacko Last Mile Access Program’ aims at bringing healthcare services to all the villages while reducing the need for arduous journeys and costly expenses.
According to Governor Ayacko, through the initiative, patients in the villages who have been unable to walk to health facilities will get a chance to undergo medical checkups with ease.
In a speech read by Public Service Management CEC Caleb Opondi, the County Chief said the move will ensure residents access health care services.
“Over the past years, our nation and the world experienced unprecedented health challenges. These challenges have offered us an opportunity to reflect, learn and act. And we have chosen to act,” the Governor said.
For years, residents of Migori County have faced the daunting task of digging deep into their pockets and traveling long distances to access essential healthcare services.
Many in remote and underserved communities have felt the brunt of healthcare disparities, often foregoing critical medical attention due to travel inconveniences and costs involved.
“We are happy that we now can get health care services closer to us. I have been spending not less than Sh150 to get to the nearest health center,” Maureen Atieno, a resident living at Dede village in Awendo Sub-County said.
Governor Ayacko's administration has partnered with Astrazeneca and Amref Health Africa to launch the Mama Agnes Ayacko Last Mile Access Program.
The initiative, spanning four months, aims to extend comprehensive healthcare services to even the most remote areas of Migori County.
Key services that will be offered under this program include diabetes and hypertension screening, HPV vaccination, immunization, COVID-19 vaccination, reproductive health services, and routine primary healthcare interventions.
The mobile clinics deployed for this purpose will serve as lifelines for communities that have long been excluded from these vital services.
Through the mobile clinics, Migori County residents will now have convenient access to COVID-19 vaccination services, significantly boosting the county's efforts in achieving herd immunity.
Dr. Catherine Kanari who is the head of Universal Health Coverage at Amref Health Africa said the program is hinged on UHC.
“We know that the bedrock of UHC is primary healthcare. There are some challenges regarding access and quality of services. We can never have enough health facilities and healthcare workers," Ms. Kanari said.
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According to Kanari, the program is to complement the existing healthcare services and ensure they reach the last mile for the communities.
"There are people who have not been screened for any non-communicable diseases because the access is not there. We are moving health services to the people to do the preventive and promotive healthcare that is very important," she said.
Bill Olwenda, the manager for Public Private Health Partnerships at Amref said the program would help reduce congestion when one goes for treatment.
"It will reduce transport cost for residents. This program seeks to take services to the village level. It will enable last mile access to healthcare," Mr. Owen's stated.