The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has entered into a Cooperation Agreement with the government of Kenya through the Provincial Director of the Ministries of Health in the North Eastern province of Kenya on the 4th of October 2012, agreeing to partner and work together towards health promotion for migrants, host communities and cross border mobile populations in the province.
The agreement seeks to promote collaborative strategic planning among stakeholders involved in healthcare promotion, increase and improve availability of research information on the health status and underlying risks and vulnerabilities of migrants and other targeted beneficiaries.
The agreement further aims to develop, implement and share model health promotion programmes and projects based on the national community health strategy, which assists the beneficiaries to access essential health care.
While signing the MOU on behalf of IOM in Garissa, IOM’s Regional Migration Health Assessment Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East, Dr. Aleksandar Galev said that the MoU will enhance and further strengthen the existing close collaboration between the Ministry of Health and IOM in providing health support to vulnerable populations in North Eastern Province. The Provincial Director of Public and Sanitation in North Eastern Province, Dr. Mohamed A. Sheikh signed the agreement on behalf of the Kenyan Government.
For the past six months, IOM’s health team has provided medical care to a total of 105,592 refugees and their host communities in both Dadaab District and Turkana County, through the IOM’s on-going health assistance for crisis affected populations activities in North eastern Kenya.
Majority of the beneficiaries are currently being treated for malaria, upper and lower respiratory tract infections, watery/bloody diarrhoea and anaemia, among other ailments. Over 400 children below the age of five years received immunization against measles, polio, TB, Tetanus, diphtheria and whopping cough, among other ailments.
Under the medical outreach for the refugee host community, IOM has also distributed a total of 276,560 chlorine tablets for drinking water disinfection and donated 104,084 Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) tablets, to be administered to dehydrated patients, frequently suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting.
Additionally, IOM has carried out health education sessions in six primary schools in Dadaab where a total of 3,317 students were dewormed with Albendazole, and 66 students received treatment for conditions related to the poor hygiene and sanitation conditions. IOM is also stocking government hospitals in Dadaab District and Garissa County with medical supplies such as medicines and laboratory equipment.