The Ministry of Health services in conjunction with Afya Halisi has launched a Toll Free Line for use by residents of Kakamega County who require information or assistance on any health related issue including those in need of Ambulance services.

The number – 0800-720-573 – will provide a platform for patients and health service providers to communicate in real time at NO COST.

According to the statistics by the Ministry, visitations by patients to health facilities has drastically reduced since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the country.

“The consequences of COVID-19 can be catastrophic for reproductive health, maternal, newborn and adolescent health,” Health services CECM Rachel Okumu who read H.E. Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya’s speech said during the launch at the Kakamega County General & Referral Hospital, Friday afternoon.

The CECM noted that there has been a sharp rise in maternal and neonatal deaths in the county due to lack of access to health facilities. “This helpline will now assist pregnant mothers even during night curfew hours as they will be directly be linked to the nearest health facility and Ambulance services in case of need for evacuation,” she said.

The CECM reiterated county government’s focus on continuity of reproductive health services and empowerment of the vulnerable population in the county.

In addition to the expectant mothers the initiative is also targeting patients in need of family planning and immunization services as well as victims of Gender Based Violence, among others.

The handsets will be stationed at Kakamega County General & Referral Hospital, Ikolomani, Matungu, Likuyani sub county hospitals and the Kakamega County Ambulance Control tower.

Mr. Francis Kadiri, Afya Halisi representative said the USAID funded organization will continue partnering with the county to cover the needs of the residents in the heath sector.

In attendance were County Director of Public Health Mr. Paul Manyasi, madam Imelda Barasa the County Reproductive Heath coordinator and madam Rose Muhanda the County Gender Based Violence coordinator among others.