Kenya’s Bondo sub-county in Siaya county is facing high rates of maternal and child mortality related to non-communicable diseases. Mr Victor Emali Mukaka, an alumnus from Queensland University of Technology is tackling these challenges.
As a lecturer at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedical Sciences at the Masinde Muliro University of Technology, he directly transfers his acquired skills and knowledge from the Master of Public Health to the next generation of medical professionals.
Greatest impact is being felt at the community level. During his time as the Reproductive Health Officer and Immunisation Coordinator at the Ministry of Health, Victor established a robust surveillance system for immunisable diseases in Kenya when he returned from Australia. Health workers are now required to report weekly on trends related to the outbreak of measles, acute flaccid paralysis and neonatal tetanus.
In partnership with a non-governmental organisation, Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program, Victor trained 351 community members, of which 234 were women, to treat children under the age of five. This training sought to upskill health workers to better manage malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia among vulnerable children.
These interventions have resulted in a reduction in the cases of maternal and child mortality, from nine in 2016 to three in 2018, and an increased number of immunisation uptake, from 4,000 in 2015 to 5,100 in 2018. Community health volunteers are now empowered to tackle health matters in their communities. This has resulted in an improved general health environment in Bondo county.
Victor is also participating in the planning and implementation of community diagnosis with health students within marginalised communities of Kakamega. They empower communities to be able to identify and address their health needs using minimal resources. He continues to be the ambassador for change, a critical thinker and a community resource person courtesy of the support from the Australian Government.
Photo Credit: Victor Emali Mukaka