Early marriages and cultural rites like FGM have made maternal mortality rate in Mandera worse than in Somalia and any other parts of the world, the United Nations Populations Fund has said.
“The statistics show more women die in childbirth there than anywhere else in the world with, about 3,700 of every 100,000 women dying during childbirth,” UNPF representative Siddharth Chatterjee said.
Governor Ali Roba said his government is sourcing for funds from international donors to provide better medical services and other basic needs in the county.
“Previously issues like insecurity were affecting availability of the services but now that has reduced, with less than one incidence in every five months,” Roba said.
He said the county government is building new health facilities to ensure medical services reach the people.
“We have already constructed 60 health facilities and are working to ensure these essential services are closer to the people.”
Residents have in the past had to commute long distances to access treatment.
A visit to the Mandera Referral Hospital found Barry Ali, who was admitted with her baby after a post-delivery accident.
Ali claimed she delivered her baby without help as she was not able to reach the hospital on time.
“My baby came at around 3 am and was delivered well, but when I stood the baby fell. I had to call for help to be taken to hospital which is far from my house.”
Ibrahim Ali, the Head Nurse at the hospital, said maternal health still faces challenges as female patients shun services because they fear being treated by male health practitioners.