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Preventing disease, preventing conflict across the Kenya-Ethiopia border

Ameyo Bonventure Masakhwe - GFMER Coordinator for Kenya

by Kerlène Volant

Preventing disease, preventing conflict across the Kenya-Ethiopia border - Ameyo Bonventure Masakhwe

October 2013, Kangaten Ethiopia Kenya border

An Ethiopian woman receives a jab against tetanus by Kenyan health officials during a recent maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination (MNTE) initiative in Kenya. The event was the first of its kind on the marginalized Kenya-Ethiopia border of Turkana County in Kenya and South Omo county in Ethiopia. Though Ethiopia has eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, the activity was significant since either side of the border is hard-to-reach with many women of reproductive age having never been immunized before. Equally, the two pastoralist communities on either side of the border have protracted conflicts and this was also a different approach towards sustaining peace. Above all, it formed part of a mobilization activity for polio immunization for under-fives (inset) along the porous border that followed a month later and sensitization for joint synchronous activities in future. Pictured leading the health workers are Dr. Ameyo Bonventure, Dr Gilchrist Lokoel and (inset), the entire team consisting of Mr. Barasa and Mr Sirma leading the Kenyan provincial administration and security detail, and Mr Loree representing Ethiopian administration, Ethiopian security detail (in blue). Present also were health workers from Kenya and Ethiopia, as well as the clergy.