Running living in East Africa, a semi-arid land

Running head: HEALTH DISPARITIESIntroductionThis is a research paper about the health disparities among the Turkana people. The Turkana are Nilote speaking people living in East Africa, a semi-arid land that borders the famous Lake Turkana. According to surveys and census that was done in 2009, the Turkana people are about 800,000 by population, making them the third most abundant ethnic community among the Nilotes in East Africa. They are nomadic-pastoralists mainly because of the geographical area and the climatic conditions of the Turkana region which favors pastoralist. The primary purpose of this research paper is to analyze in details the health disparities and problems that the people of Turkana face. The health disparities can be caused by some factors majorly environmental factors that affect the health of the people.According to a research that was done by world health organization, the Turkana people are among the most impoverished community in Kenya. This characterized by the fact that they live in a semi-arid land that does not favor many commercial activities including farming to be done on the farm. Most of the area is semi-arid therefore; the only industrial business common among the people is nomadic pastoralism. Health problems are the most significant problem among the people here because most of them live below the poverty line and can’t afford a quality healthcare service. The other factor that has made provision of health facilities difficult is the terrain of the land. There are no excellent transport networks across the entire county; therefore, there are minimal developments regarding health facilities. The residents have to walk for several kilometers away from their homes to look for medical care. The people here often suffer more especially if the patients are suffering from a severe ailment, the long distance covered to access the facility poses a significant problem as most them who have serious diseases can even die along the roads or suffer from dehydration. The eventual results arising Running head: HEALTH DISPARITIESfrom this can be fatal, and some individuals have also lost their lives in such for medical attention. Take a situation of an expectant mother seeking antenatal care, in the event of complicated pregnancies; most of them have ended up losing their lives and those of the babies they were expecting. The typical form used by the people in this region is the services of the traditional birth attendants, who are not qualified to handle emergency and complicated pregnancies. At least, they can save a life for those who have no complications related with delivery, for those unlucky to deliver in the standard way, they hardly survive and there any cases of deaths reported as a result of pregnancy complications.Also, there are tropical diseases in the region associated with persistent droughts and lack of proper nutrition because the populace lives below the poverty line hence making them unable t afford a balanced diet on a daily basis. According to the same research done by world health organization, Turkana County is among the most insecure counties regarding food security. Malnutrition is a common disease among many children in the region. The disease is caused by a lack of essential and proteins, vitamins, fats and minerals in the diet. According to the report, Turkana County is at 28% on acute malnutrition report. This is far above the required threshold of 15% across the world. Nevertheless, the rate of infant mortality is around 60 for every 1000 children. This is caused by the fact that only 54 % of the children born in the region get immunization within five years. According to the required health standards, all the children below five years must get immunized before attaining the age of 5 years to prevent them against diseases such as polio and measles. Another major factor contributing to the rate of infant mortality rate in the region is high levels of illiteracy. Turkana County arguably is among the leading counties regarding ignorance. Hence people are ignorant and don’t understand the importance of giving birth in a health facility and even taking their young children below five Running head: HEALTH DISPARITIESyears to a health facility. Also, there are shortages of skilled health personnel in the region. This is because the part is a hardship area and is characterized by a lot of insecurity in the emergence of bandits and community conflicts arising from the scramble for pasture and water for their livestock. Majority of the health practitioners do not agree t be posted to such areas because they are not guaranteed with the security of their lives. It is for this reason that there are few proficient health officers in the region, hence exposing the community to a further risk. The few who are available can’t meet a large number of people they are supposed to attend to. This is among the significant challenges in the provision of health in the region.Another primary cause of health disparity among the children in the region is the belief of culture and traditions. The Turkana people hold onto an idea that, a child must be named first before breastfeeding. A process that involves giving a name to the child and then wait for the same child to respond to the said name through the movement of the child’s lips and fingers to the breasts of the mother suggests that the child has accepted the title. If the same child does not show any response, it is assumed that the child has not received the title hence the process continues by giving a different name. In some instances, this process can even take one week. Meanwhile, the child is fed on the boiled milk of the camel or the goat. This exposes a risk to the child who does not breastfeed because the mother’s milk contains significant antibodies that boost the immunity of the child against infection. The later may get infected with other tropical diseases because their protection is below the required standard.Running head: HEALTH DISPARITIESThe solution to these significant problems on health among the people of Turkana is. First, the community should abolish some traditions that limit breastfeeding of children within the first hour after birth so that the children are not left exposed to diseases. Secondly, the authorities responsible should increase the number of qualified health officers and health facilities in the region. Thankfully, the government of Kenya has initiated the below zero campaign that has provided mobile health clinics to every county. Also, the government should deploy enough number of health personnel to the region. The introduction of free maternal services can help boost the number of mothers going to the hospital to deliver