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Archive for July, 2018

Kemsa to back  State in provision of healthcare

Posted by African Press International on July 30, 2018

By Dickens Wasonga

Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) has embarked on a strategy to enhance efficiency in the provision of timely and affordable medical commodities.

As a specialised medical logistics provider for public health facilities, this is to ensure there is improved access to healthcare.

This, according to the new Chief Executive Officer Dr Johana Manjari, is to enable it play a critical role in the government’s vision of providing Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC).

Provision of efficient and cost effective healthcare to Kenyans is part of the government’s Big 4 Agenda launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

To achieve this, Dr Manjari said the authority will closely work with county governments as its valuable partners.

The Kemsa head has been holding meetings with the country’s county government governors to explore new ways of improving service delivery.

Kemsa currently serves more than 400 hospitals, 4500 rural health facilities and over 5000 sites that offer rapid testing across Kenya.

The authority is the main driver in the procurement, warehousing, distribution, supply chain services and sales and marketing of medical commodities.

With a good working relationship with the board, the top management is out to ensure that the right systems are in place to ensure that it achieves its core mandate.

Dr Manjari who succeeded Mr. Fredrick Wanyonyi, who was serving in an acting capacity from December 2017, becomes the first medical doctor to serve as the Kemsa head.

The board of directors has affirmed to support the new head to ensure the organisation works effectively.

KEMSA Board Chairman Mr. Andrew Onyach said Dr. Manjari is an experienced advisor in the health industry and is uniquely suited to lead KEMSA in its next phase of transformation and spur exponential growth.

“We have selected a strong leader at a time when KEMSA is expected to effectively support the Ministry of Health in implementing Universal Health Care coverage by providing quality medical supplies,” noted Mr. Onyach.

On his appointment, Dr Mwangi Dr promised to inculcate a culture of efficiency within the authority by ensuring that the management works as a united team.

“KEMSA is a premier organisation with a big mandate and we must ensure that we do our best to fulfil it,” he said.

Prior to his appointment Dr. Manjari was the Nakuru County Healthy Executive.

Before joining Nakuru County, Dr. Manjari served as Kiambu County Government CEC in charge of health.

During his tenure, in Kiambu County, Dr Manjari transformed the health sector where he streamlined health service delivery and spearheaded the upgrading of Kiambu and Gatundu Level Four hospitals respectively to Level Five status.

Besides, he oversaw the construction of new health facilities and ensured all maternity wings in all health centres across Kiambu County were fully functional.

Dr. Manjari holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery University of Nairobi (UoN). He also has a Masters in ENT Surgery from UoN and over 20 years work experience.

With an efficient ICT infrastructure in place, this will build on its transparency besides ensuring there is seamless flow of data and its accuracy is guaranteed.

End

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KENYA: MORE SCHOOLS BURN IN SIAYA

Posted by African Press International on July 6, 2018

By Dickens Wasonga.

News just in, two schools in Siaya have experienced another round of students unrest that now seem to get out of control.

Reports indicate Maliera boys in Gem sub county in Siaya was closed Thursday evening after two attempts by the students to burn down the school.

The regional coordinator of Education Nyanza Mr Richard Chepkawai confirmed the closure.
He said tension was high in the school leading to the decision to close the school.

He couldn’t immediately reveal reason behind attempted arson but other sources claimed students were demanding a new bus.

And in at Ambira high school also in Siaya, students allegedly burnt down a dormitory.

Cause of the riots could not be immediately established. This brings to five the number of schools affected so far by the students unrest in just within a week.

Ends

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THREE NATIONAL SCHOOLS IN NYANZA CLOSED INDEFINITELY DUE TO STUDENTS UNREST, MARANDA INCLUDED

Posted by African Press International on July 5, 2018

By Dickens Wasonga.

What could be ailing the giant a academic institutions of Nyanza? This appears to be the elephant in the room that education stakeholders from the region are now grappling with.

In just one week , three national schools in the area have been closed down indefinitely and students sent packing due to students unrest.

And what appears to be a departure from the previous such incidents, accusations are leveled against none other than the school’s principals.

Maranda Boys national ,known for its excellent academic performance, was closed on Wednesday last week after top education officials from Nyanza got wind of a plan by students to go on rampage.

According to the regional coordinator of education Mr Richard Chepkawai , it was the intelligence they received from a neighboring school that they acted upon to swiftly avert what he described as an incident that would have led to serious destruction in the school.

The unrest began at the Kisumu girls, also a national school where the students on the rampage caused a lot of damage . The girl’s school was closed on Tuesday indefinitely.

And in Siaya county the students of Ng’iya girls also went on the rampage forcing the school’s administration to close the school .

Those at the top management of education affairs from the ministry of education in Nyanza say the upsurge in school riots has a common thread- one that they believe has everything to do with the changes effected by the teachers commission early this year dabbed delocalization.

Under this move, Teachers who were had been working in their home schools and had worked at one station for over nine years were to be transferred and most of the schools so far affected in the ongoing student skirmishes had their principals moved , apart from Ng’iya girls .

” This is a clear manifestation of resistance to change. There exists a cartel in this region that would not want changes being implemented. They were benefiting from corruption and they are the ones scheming this again. We can see the pattern and the timing , given they know there is another intended transfers that they feel might affect them ” Said an education officer involved in the investigations.

Others however disagree with this assertion and instead are blaming the new administrators of being the reason for the unrest.

At Kisumu girls for example , students accused the principal of being inaccessible according to Mr Chepkawai, allegations which he promised will be investigated and a conclusive report obtained to inform action.

The education coordinator said the students also claimed the principal had introduced instant changes that met resistance.

” They said that entertainment was scrapped without any alternative form being introduced. we have information that earlier there was uncoordinated approach to the issue of entertainment which the principal sought to regulate to be able to regulate the students duding such occasions.” He added.

He also noted that what was happening was a clear case of people who are resisting changes which are otherwise intended to improve performance and the general management of these institutions.

He said he was aware that changes introduced at kisumu girls targeted to streamline how funds were being managed .

” The principal is strict and has sealed loop- holes that would allow pilferage of school funds as it were. We have information,although we are still probing this, that some teachers and even a section of the board would get opportunity to trade with the school through proxy firms. This is what we are seeing , a case of graft fighting back. The unrest points to incitement by some teachers.” He said.

Chepkawai said the same was the reason for problems at Maranda where he alleged some teachers and a section of the board would supply items to the school through phony companies. He said the current principal was putting measures in place to protect the interest of the school.

The coordinator said he was not aware of allegations that the principal was supplying sugar to to the school as alleged and promised to investigate the claims. The Principal Mr Edwin Namachanja was also alleged to be inaccessible, exhibiting high highhandedness and allegedly doesn’t involve other key leaders of the school while making critical decisions. Before he was moved to Maranda he was the principal Kamusinga high in Western region.

The regional education boss said he was only aware that students were protesting food ration and quality of food served. He however appeared to suggest there was nothing wrong if schools would procure items like sugar directly from factories if doing so would be for the benefit of the school as a way of saving money.

He clarified that no damage was witnessed at Maranda adding that the plan by the students was foiled before it could be executed.

But at Ng’iya, those who are opposed to the leadership of the principal Mrs Florence Okut say she has over -stayed and was not in charge of the happenings at the school she heads and wants her removed to another school.

They claim she has been trading with the school , a claim we could not independently verify as she never responded to our inquiries .

Unconfirmed reports indicated that a section of students were opposed to one of the ICT teachers and also had issues with the acting Dormitories mistress .

However it is not clear why , if these issues raised by the students were true , it never got to the attention of the school’s administration through the school council for immediate redress.

Was the issue of delocalization being implemented by the ministry through TSC rushed? And why would teachers gang up and plot unrest across the region , to ensure the changes are frustrated and as away of blackmailing their employer into retaining them in certain work station?

The PS Education added a new twist to the matter when he appeared to suggest the unrest was motivated by the fear to face exams by the learners.

Could this be the case and who should be responsible for adequate preparations ahead of the national examinations ?

As at last week, Nyakach girls tension remained high although the regional education coordinator insisted the situation had been put under control and there was no reason to panic.

He said security personnel were guarding the institution round the clock .

Mr Chepkawai also disclosed that security was on high alert in the rest of the schools and he had conducted impromptu visits to a number of them to talk wit the principals on the need to remain vigilant.

Before the reports of the unrest, 26 schools mainly from Luo Nyanza had converged at Kisumu girls for inter school debate.

One of the officials from the ministry who is part of the ongoing probe said they suspect the plot to cause mayhem could have been possibly discussed during the function.

” Ideally schools attending such occasions must ensure they leave early so that they are all back in their respective schools by 6 pm . It is curious that a school like Maranda left Kisumu at 6 pm . What was the reason for the late departure and we would want to establish who was the accompanying teacher”

He said the Maranda boys had to be forced to leave the girl’s school by the security guards when it became apparent it was getting late.

Even the information about the impending attack at Maranda was reportedly brought to the attention of the education officials by an intelligence source from Ngiya girls,which points to a clear sign of conspiracy.

Ends

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IMPLEMENTATION OF ALTERNATIVE FAMILY  CARE GUIDELINES FOR CHILDREN LAUNCHED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN KISUMU

Posted by African Press International on July 3, 2018

  • By Dickens Wasonga.

    The Government has launched a pilot project that will see the state  provide alternative family care services for children in the country. The objective of the of the implementation of the alternative family care services will be to strengthen the overall promotion and protection of  the best interest and equal rights of children who are denied family and community care currently Launched in Kisumu county as a pilot,  the project will be rolled out countrywide so as  to support and improve alternative care provision to children deprived of  parental care .

  • >
    According to the principal secretary, state department for social protection , pensions and senior citizens affairs Ms Susan Mochache,  the program is in line with the alternative family care guidelines 2014 and the national plan of action on children in Kenya 2015-2022.
    The PS told a stakeholder  meeting in Kisumu  recently that Kenya is steadily moving away from residential care of children to family and community based care .
    This she noted was due to the recognition of the adverse effects that institutionalization has on the developmental outcomes and well-being of children ” It is in this regard that efforts ere being made to encourage family and community based care so as to reduce the numbers of children living in institutional care ” she said

    The  United Nations guidelines for alternative family care of children 2009 encourages efforts to have children taken care of within their families and where this is not possible , the state should provide for appropriate alternative family care services .

    These includes adoption, guardianship, kinship care , foster care and other forms of family based care, or supervised independent living arrangements as a way of promoting the child’s well-being.
    The government recommends that, in order to mitigate on the negative effects of institutionalizing child protection  and care, efforts by various stakeholders must be channeled towards addressing the underlying reasons for decisions to place children in residential care in the first place. Factors such as poverty, family breakdown , disability and the lack of alternatives to residential cares requires holistic responses , according to the ministry so as to identify families at risk and address their needs to avoid placement of children in residential care facilities. As a step into ensuring the best interest of children is safeguarded , the ministry of labor and social protection under the state department of social protection , jointly with stakeholders , developed the alternative family care guidelines for children in 2014
    The guidelines are in tune with the the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child .

  • These guidelines provides harmonized national guidance for child welfare and protection practitioners in order to improve the quality of family support and alternative care services in the country.
  • The PS stated that the government will continue to provide social assistance to vulnerable groups such as children through cash transfers to orphans and other vulnerable children which currently cover over 353,000 households countrywide.

    Kisumu county, currently has a total of 12,460 households benefiting from the cash transfer program for orphans and vulnerable children .

    Although such efforts has greatly had a positive impact on the lives of our children, a lot more still  needs to be done.  Issues of child abuse and molestation, high pregnancy cases among teenagers, child neglect and other forms of  child labor especially in the fishing communities is still a worrying trend that need to be looked at.

Ends

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INSECURITY WITHIN KISUMU IS NOW WORRYING THE CITY RESIDENTS, WANTS THE POLICE TO ACT.

Posted by African Press International on July 3, 2018

  • By  Dickens Wasonga
    Residents of Kisumu wants the police to stem the spiraling cases of thuggery within Kisumu city and its satellite towns.
    Members of the public are now a worried lot over  the increasing  attacks  of the gun wielding gangsters which has left some people dead and others nursing serious gun wounds .
    The outcry comes hot  in the wake of an incident along Kisian- Kisumu highway on Friday night  last week that saw thugs shoot dead a lead research scientist attached to the KEMRI – CDC Kisian center.
    Prof Odada was shot and wounded by thugs at night ,around 11 PM and later succumbed to the gun shot wounds while receiving treatment at the Aga Khan hospital in Kisumu.
    He is said to have been accosted by the gunmen who had earlier attempted to raid the home of Kisumu based  top surgeon  Dr James  Otieno Obondi.
    The incident was reported just a few days following another one where a man who was alleged to  have picked up a Woman in Kondele area allegedly killed her before the suspect was also killed by a mob.
    The body of the slain woman was reportedly discovered  in the suspect’s house at Car -Wash area   by neighbors while  hidden in a suit- case. The  reason behind the killing was yet to be established.
    And in Muhoroni,   a woman and her baby were allegedly killed by a house -help who later escaped.
    The woman was said to be from one of the neighboring countries .Police are following leads to arrest her .
    Cases of house breaking are also becoming common in most of the estates within Kisumu City  with the criminals targeting electronic appliances and other valuables .
    Estates such as Lolwe, Car wash, Migosi, Mamboleo, Riat, Nyamasaria are some of the worst -hit by the current  wave of the burglary attacks where residents have repeatedly reported loss of household goods.
    Not long  ago a Kisumu based TV journalist working at the nation media group Kisumu office  had her residence raided . Namukabu Werunga of NTV lost most of her household goods at Migosi estate.
    The thugs sneaked in at her house at  night and the TV journalist  got a rude shock when she woke up in the morning to an empty living room.
    Earlier, Justus Ochieng , also of  Nation Kisumu bureau  lost items of unknown value in a similar  attack at his Mamboleo residence forcing him to relocate to another estate within the city .
    Justus immediately  reported the matter to the police at the  Mamboleo patrol base and a suspect was later arrested with a lap top following a police swoop.
    The case which has also been rocked with controversies over claims of exhibit alterations is still  pending in court awaiting hearing and determination at Winam law court although the prosecution on one hand has been pushing the complainant to have it withdrawn in Kisumu
    In some instances, the daring thugs attack even when the occupants of the houses are still awake and violently cart- away the priced items with lap top , flat screen TV sets ,  micro waves, and gas cookers forming the list of the most sought – after items by these gangs.
    Residents suspect that they could also be using chemicals that they  spray so that their victims sleep soundly as they stage the break- in .
    Motor – cycle riders, especially those who operate in the town and within the estates at night have also fallen victims of the attackers some of whom pose as passengers only to turn ion the riders at gun point.
    Many have been injured while several others have lost their motorbikes to the marauding gangs who seems to be having a field day.
    Unconfirmed reports also claimed that two weeks ago, thugs held petrol attendants and unsuspecting clients  hostage for several hours at Mamba filling station before making away with thousands of shillings of looted cash after the ordeal.
    The thugs, according to unofficial reports were armed with  guns and  also wore police uniforms.
      However, the top police command   in the region remained tight lipped on the matter declining to respond to our efforts  to have them confirm or deny the allegations about the petrol station takeover.  Efforts to get comments over the same bore no fruits from the police who had texts messages sent to them .
    Cases of people losing mobile phones especially at the main bus park and and at the Kondele round- about where thugs on foot roam and  ambush unsuspecting phone users and snatch their handsets while in matatus is no longer news to write about. This even with the advanced technology that can help police to tack down and nab suspected mobile phone snatchers
    Ends.

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