MANDERA’S HIGH CHILD BIRTH MORTALITY RATE CAN BE SOLVED.
Mandera occupies the north eastern part of Kenya. Most of the people in that area are Muslims by religion. The place is partly arid and records very high temperatures during the day. Mandera records very high child birth deaths which are as high as 3290 deaths per 100,000 births. It surpasses the WHO maximum records of 2000 births per 100,000 births. Most of the deaths that occur are due to home deliveries of the children as opposed to hospital deliveries. This happens due to the strong religious beliefs and culture that has been against the use of hospitals as form of delivery.
A few days ago, one leading media house in Kenya brought to the limelight the high number of still births in the region. It was discovered that despite the presence of hospitals in that region, some children die because delivering mothers deny vehemently to be delivered by male nurses on doctors. It is a taboo for another man to see the privacy of a woman which cuts across to the niche of even doctors. The resultant of such kind of a culture is the high number of still births. Despite the presence of hospitals and some medical professionals to help in such processes as child delivery, most of the women prefer to deliver at the hands of mid wives as opposed to trained doctors and nurses.
So what is the solution?
One of the best ways and one which holds promise is public empowerment. Organizations should sit down and come up with ways of mobilizing the locals to accept modern forms of medicine and practice and as such the people will begin to be free with such clinical practices as delivery and appreciate them with time. It is also upon the health facilitators to device ways of instilling confidence and trust in the patients and proves to them that all can be well with modern practices such as surgery. Once this becomes successful, it can be spread to all other people and soon or later the numbers of still births could be on a downward slope.
The next approach which the Mandera county government is taking, that is good, is to bring such services as transport near the people. Ambulances should be distributed and be in close proximity with the people and hence provide emergency services. Mobile clinics should be developed in such areas in large numbers and with that development; the services can be taken even to the remotest parts of that county and as such help the people to improve their healthcare. These clinics should be available largely now that Mandera is largely known for its less developed roads network, other infrastructures and lack of proper transportation forms thereof.
With such measures, health improvement in Mandera holds lots of promise.