Residents of Kirie location in Mbeere North Sub-county, Embu County have benefited from a free medical camp organized by the area MP Muriuki Njagagua.
The one-day camp came as a reprieve to patients at a time when health services remain grounded in all public health facilities, following a strike by health workers over poor working conditions.
Health workers downed their tools a week ago over a protracted labour dispute with the devolved unit over delay in payment of salaries, non-remittance of statutory deductions to relevant institutions and acute shortage of drugs.
Hundreds of patients who turned up for the one-day camp were examined and treated for various diseases including cervical, breast and prostate cancer, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and eye problems by various specialists at the event held at area Assistant County Commissioner’s offices.
Other services offered included immunization for children, nutrition and family planning.
“We decided to hold this camp to respond to the suffering of our people who have nowhere to turn to following the ongoing health crisis,” said the MP.
He said the situation was so bad that many children born in the last two weeks had not received the first dose of BCG vaccine.
The MP called on Governor Martin Wambora to move with speed to address the impasse to alleviate the suffering of the majority residents who can’t afford services in private hospitals.
One of the beneficiaries, Margaret Mumbi who was suffering chest and join paints said the initiative was godsend owing to hard economic times that had been compounded by the health workers strike.
Another beneficiary, Anisia Ngari, said the area has lagged behind in terms of healthcare provision as it is served by just one dispensary that is also ill equipped in terms of personnel, equipment and drugs.
“We need to have such camps regularly to save us from the pain of travelling far and wide in search of treatment,” she said.
Clinician and Productive Health Specialist Mary Wanjiru who headed the team of medics involved in the exercise said they attended to over 500 patients and more were still trickling at venue at the close of the camp.
Wanjiru reported that the most prevalent ailments they diagnosed were hypertension, eye diseases as well as malnutrition and upper respiratory infection among children.
By Samuel Waititu