It was all joy and relief for over 200 sickly and elderly residents of Mavoloni, Yatta Sub- County after a Thika-based hospital came to their aid by providing them with free medical examinations, foodstuffs and other donations to save them life frustrations and neglect.
Most of them who had been bed-ridden for years could hardly stand or walk, forcing doctors from Thika Nursing Home to conduct door to door medical visit, while others had to be ferried from their homes by Bodabodas and vehicles to reach the treatment center.
According to Dr. Vashti Shah, the doctors’ Team Leader who is also the proprietor of the Thika Nursing home, most of the patients aged over 70 years were struggling with chronic old age problems, high blood pressure, Arthritis, Diabetes, Rheumatic heart diseases, body injuries, waterborne diseases, eye and ear problems that requires regular treatment and follow-up.
The elderly attributed their health situation to life frustrations caused by high poverty levels and neglect from their families.
The area is semi-arid and hardly receives enough rainfall with residents going for years without meaningful harvests, making them lack the necessary diets.
Kennedy Muiruri, who had brought his grandmother for treatment on a bodaboda, said the elderly in the village never received any money from the government’s elderly cash transfer kitty.
He said most of them were left out during the registration of the cash transfer programme and had few sources of making a living, condemning them to frustrations and frequent illnesses.
They blamed their elected leaders for abandoning and failing to push to have them registered in the kitty.
“Frustration is killing these people as they are weak due to poor dieting and frequent ailments. They have no money to seek medical care and resort to taking herbal concoctions. They have not been registered to benefit from the government’s elderly kitty,” said Muiruri during the visit yesterday.
Other residents led by Jane Kanini Ndunda and Anne Ndulu, said they were tired of having to walk to Kisiiki Shopping Centre, several kilometers away to seek medical services, which in most cases lacked drugs.
Francis Kilango, a well-wisher and community leader who had brought the team of doctors, said the high cost of living and treatment made most elderly ‘die slowly’ in their beds without any hope for medical care.
Kilango appealed to the government to come up with a policy, where the elderly can get medical attention for free.
Vashti promised to organize regular free medical camps in the area as most ailments required specialized, skilled and trained personnel.
The residents were also offered foodstuffs and special flour for their diet.
By Muoki Charles