Hundreds of drought-stricken residents of Kilifi County have benefitted from a free medical camp hosted by Direct Aid International organization.
The three-day medical camp held at Fumbini, Kiwandani and Kibarani villages in Kilifi North constituency targeted persons from low-resource-income communities who cannot afford medical services in hospitals amid ravaging drought in the regions.
Speaking to the media in an exclusive interview at Fumbini Community School, Direct Aid International manager Kilifi branch Abdirahman Sheikh Ahmed said that the need to set up the free medical camp was influenced by a huge influx of residents who do not have access to basic medical services.
He said the organization is committed to improving the living standards of the residents of the targeted drought-hit regions, an initiative that is only possible through prioritizing the health of the residents who cannot access and afford medical services.
Findings from the doctors in charge revealed that most participants were the elderly, the common illnesses being high blood pressure, and hygiene-related complications like skin infections.
The patients who said they have been adversely affected by the drought decried their inability to access medical services when they fall sick due to their efforts to address the pangs of hunger biting them.
Fumbini village elder Kadzo Kazungu Kombe lauded the organization saying that the village is in dire need of medical services aid since residents can’t even afford transport to healthcare facilities besides lacking food and water.
“As a village elder, I don’t always know what to do when a person falls sick and at the same time has neither food nor school fees to pay for their children. Children miss going to school due to water scarcity in this region. I thank this organization for coming in to provide medical aid since residents only prioritize their budgets on food first,” she said.
Heavily Expectant mother Mwanatumu Mwajuma lauded Direct Aid international for the free medical camp saying that she couldn’t afford to go to the hospital due to lack of resources considering the tough economic situation in the area caused by drought.
She urged the county and national governments and other willing organizations to organize such intervention measures in order to reduce illnesses and deaths in the region.
According to Mwajuma, residents including herself opt to sleep when they are sick without seeking medical aid not because it’s their wish but because they don’t have transport to hospital or even the money to buy medicine.
Ms. Lynn Juma, a clinical officer at Ama Dispensary in Kibarani-Kilifi said that hygiene-related illnesses are at a high level due to water scarcity in the region. She said that the high level of poverty and drought in the region is the major reason why most residents do not seek for medical attention whenever they fall sick.
Juma called upon residents to take advantage of such free medical camps to receive medical services urging the government and non-governmental organizations to collaborate in conducting such events in order to improve residents’ health.
Omar Said Bakari, a resident of Mjibu village who suffers from diabetes and blood pressure said that the biggest challenge he’s facing in his life is getting medicines for his illness since he is not even able to provide food for his family.
He was happy having received medicines from the free medical camp and called upon various organizations to conduct several such events since most residents can’t afford treatment owing to poverty and drought.
By Treeza Auma and Harrison Yeri