Form two dropout doctor
Over 3,000 residents of Loyapat Village in Turkana have no professional health worker to turn to whenever they fall sick apart from a Form Two dropout, Ntabo Loglalan, 24. Since January, five herders with serious gunshot injuries have so far died owing to excessive bleeding at Loyapat Dispensary, where he works. However, he soldiers on. Though the county government has recruited 316 qualified health workers, including 110 nurses, none has reported for fear of insecurity. When the Nation visited the village, which is among 20 insecure neighbourhoods on the volatile Turkana-West Pokot border, Loglalan, who has never stepped in a medical class, was going about his duties. Clad in blue jeans, open shoes and a yellow T-shirt, Loglalan said he is not paid.
Loyapat Dispensary, run by a religious organisation, has only one bed in the injection room. It has rusty sinks and broken pipes, but the drugs store is the most organised. Loglalan is famous among the young and old. Nicknamed “Osheah”, he was left in charge of the dispensary in 2010 after dropping out of school. The football fan, who supports English Premier League giants Manchester United, says he misses his best subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.“I developed an interest in working at the dispensary after realising that no one could bear the rampant cattle rustling, forcible eviction by their our Pokot neighbours and frequent highway attacks. ” Loglalan said.
Before the last trained health worker John Ng’asike left, Loglalan volunteered to work as a patient attendant while learning on the job. A week ago he was assisted by an experienced traditional birth attendant to deliver a baby girl.
Kainuk Health Centre, the referral hospital, is 30 minutes away by car. Loglalan wakes up at 2am for a two-hour trek to collect medicine since he does not have a vehicle. Health executive Jane Ajele said she is aware that the facility has unqualified staff. However, she said before devolution most facilities in the area had patient attendants with on-job training just like Loglalan. “We are supplying drugs to that dispensary and I have faith that he is not giving the wrong prescription. “Church officials have requested professional health workers, but unfortunately, the one posted at Loyapat was among the 25 who did not report due to insecurity,” she said. Ms Ajele said the county would consider training residents from hotspots to help address the lack of professional heal workers.
Courtersy of Daily Nation