News Column

Iom Worried At Lack of Mechanism in Health Sector

July 6, 2014

Maria Macharia

THE International Office of Migration (IOM) has bemoaned the lack clear communication mechanism concerning health risk management in the country amid Kenya becoming prone to emergency crises.

IOM said displaced people were worst affected.

Ashraf El Nour, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa cited such crises as drought, malnutrition, food insecurity, disease outbreaks and inter-communal conflicts.

"Evidence from past disasters, both man-made and natural, in Kenya has revealed various effects on the health system, such as breakdown in the continuum of care," El Nour said at an ongoing workshop held by the Ministry of Health on communication during a health crisis emergency.

"Mass displacement of people has also impacted the delivery of critical services, like HIB and TB care, by health workers. Effective communication plays a vital role in the planning, response and recovery of humanitarian emergency activities," he added.

He said IOM had developed Information Education and Communication (IEC) material for disaster affected communities and host communities to promote health and to control communicable diseases.

Through the Japan-funded programme in Kakuma and Daadab, IOM has developed and distributed IEC materials in local languages on diarrhoea and cholera prevention and control. IOM has also assisted the government through the District Health Management Team (DHMT) in Kamukunji to translate various existing IEC material into Somali, Swahili, Oromo and Amharic which are the languages popularly spoken by migrants in the Kamukunji district of Nairobi.

Meanwhile, the two-day workshop is aimed at establishing a common understanding of the important role of communication in health humanitarian emergencies, at reaching a consensus on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of communicating in emergencies, and to agree on actions, mechanisms and structures needed to enhance emergency communication in Kenya.

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Source: AllAfrica

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