Residents of Kathangariri location in Manyatta Constituency, Embu County have benefited from a one-day free medical camp organized by the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Foundation to the tune of Sh300, 000.
Hundreds of patients were examined for various Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as cervical, breast and prostate cancer, arthritis, diabetes and hypertension by various specialists and given medicines for free at the event held at Kathangariri Health Center.
The County Executive for Health John Mukundi said there has been a growing burden of NCDs that accounted for the majority of deaths in the county, while calling for proper prevention and control measures to be put in place.
He said the most prevalent NCDs in the county were hypertension, diabetes and asthma and called on locals to adopt a change in lifestyle with respect to diet and physical exercises to combat the diseases.
Mukundi also called on residents to go for routine medical checkups of NCDs as early detection and diagnosis could lead to quicker treatment and avert more complications or even death.
Kathangariri Factory Manager Elijah Njue said the money was donated by one of their international tea buyers (Taylors of Harrogate) as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“This was a good gesture and it will go a long way in ensuring our famers remain healthy so that they can continue giving us the raw materials to sustain our business,” said Njue.
The medical camp came as a relief to residents who can barely manage to fend for themselves, leave alone affordability of healthcare and drugs owing to the prevailing difficult economic times occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic and the current inflation.
Farmers who benefited from the camp hailed the initiative, saying it was timely intervention for the majority of them who cannot afford the cost of medical care.
“We suffer from a myriad health challenges including cold-related illnesses such as joint pains due to the wet conditions in this zone and the medical camp could not have come at a better time,” said one of the farmers Boniface Muriuki.
Another farmer, Jane Wairimu, called for the organizers to regularly hold such camps to supplement efforts by the county government.
The county healthcare system has been underperforming owing to an acute shortage of drugs, with medical workers downing their tools on several occasions over poor remuneration and working conditions.
By Samuel Waititu