Kirinyaga County Government is undertaking the completion of 19 dispensaries across the county, which are now at various stages of completion with some of them being furnished.
The projects, which were left incomplete by the previous regime, are aimed at boosting the provision of primary healthcare in the county by enhancing accessibility for thousands of residents who have been traveling long distances to get treatment for diseases.
While on an inspection mission to some of the projects, Governor Anne Waiguru said that the ongoing work is expected to be completed within the next three months.
“When people access quality primary healthcare, they do not need to visit higher level hospitals which can then be eased off to handle complex health matters and critically ill patients,” said the governor, adding that dispensaries are close to the people, thus save residents from traveling long distances in search of healthcare services.
Among the facilities lined up for operationalisation are Joshua Mbai laboratory, Kiamugumo, Kiandai, Kiamwathi, Kavote, Ndaba and Kianjiru dispensaries among others.
Residents from the areas where the projects are coming up are now filled with hope that their suffering is about to come to an end. They have had to spend a lot of money and time to access the medical services in faraway facilities.
Mr Gibson Njagi, a resident of Githure trading centre where Joshua Mbai dispensary is located, is now upbeat that completion of a laboratory at the facility will bring the long-awaited relief to the area residents. He thanked the County Government for undertaking to see the laboratory up and running.
The dispensary that serves about 4,000 residents has been in operation since 1993 but patients have had to be referred to other facilities for medical tests.
“We had to travel to Kiamutugu Health Centre or to private facilities where we have to spend money on fare and for the lab services. The referrals are not only costly but time-consuming and may lead to delayed diagnosis and subsequent treatment,” he explained.
The County’s Chief Officer of Health, Dr Muriithi Nyaga said that at the dispensaries, residents are able to access outpatient services that include TB treatment, pre-natal and post-natal services and pharmacy services among others.
“They will also be able to get early detection of ailments that may require further investigation and treatment for which they can be referred to more advanced facilities,” Nyaga said.
Governor Waiguru reiterated her administration’s commitment towards the improvement of health infrastructure and service delivery with an aim of achieving universal health coverage in the county.
Meanwhile, Kirinyaga deputy governor Peter Ndambiri has urged the county residents to embrace routine screening for cancer to enable early diagnosis and timely treatment.
Ndambiri said cancer is treatable if diagnosed in the early stages rather than when it is discovered in the very last stages making the treatment rather com0plicated.
The deputy governor made remarks during the burial of her last-born sister who succumbed to cancer.
He said cancer has become a silent killer with many people living with it unknowingly, adding that it is estimated that 250 women in Kirinyaga County live with cancer, with 10% of them unaware of their condition.
By Irungu Mwangi