The residents of Karia village in Githunguri Sub County of Kiambu County are forced to look for health services far away from their homes leaving their own Karia Health Centre despite the universal health care promise by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
A clinical officer at the health facility Mr. David Mwangi says although the facility is well equipped, they lack manpower and that those current manning the health center have not been paid salaries for the last 7 months.
Per day we attend to 50-70 patients with most of them suffering from respiratory system infections but after attending to them, they have to buy the medicine in chemists at the Karia or Ikinu shopping center since medicine for adults had been depleted from their stores, explained Mwangi.
Mwangi further explains “Expectant women who seek maternity services cannot be attended from our facility, because we are incapacitated but if we had even one or two nurses, we would assist these class of patients” he stated.
Karia health center which is the only government facility around within the village was officially opened in 1969 by Mama Ngina Kenyatta. However, no improvement of the infrastructure has taken place ever since as an incomplete toilet lies in a corner of the compound as the workers continue using an old one built in the ’90s.
The residents are now calling on the Government to upgrade the health facility and also, deploy more personnel to man the facility adequately.
Beth Ng’ang’a who has been a casual worker in the facility for 12 years says for lack of payment they cannot access the NHIF services and that has been difficult for them to put food on the table.
“More so now that am the one who attends to the TB patients, last few months, I have been coughing and it was also difficult for me to get medicine because I have paid for a while,” added Beth.
The facility which is situated 7km to Ikinu trading center receives most patients who are involved in accidents by the motorcycles owing to the deplorable road network that has never been tarmacked since independence.
The clinician revealed to KNA that in case they received any rains when he was still attending to patients, he would be compelled to walk the 7 km to catch a matatu. “My car is not strong enough to navigate that road and I would rather walk to the stage than punish it as I would get stuck” he noted.
By Lydia Shiloya and Catherine Muindi