Residents in the Kanyamedha area in Kisumu West Sub County are in jubilation after the community benefited from a free medical camp organized by the Beyond Zero Campaign.
The Beyond Zero Initiative in collaboration with Uzima Celebration Church issued outpatients free drugs, Covid 19 vaccination, cervical and breast cancer screening.
The sponsors contracted various health practitioners like Community Health Volunteers, counsellors, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and health records officers sourced from different health facilities within the County to provide the services.
Talking to KNA, Mercy Abuoro, Reproductive Health Trainer in charge of the campaign team in Kisumu, explained the need for such initiatives in the region citing that it reaches out to a wider group of locals who do not have the means to get better treatment at the hospitals due to financial constraints.
“We normally organize the medical camp twice in a year, serve and provide free medical care to an estimated 700 people,” Abuoro said.
She noted that during the medical camp, most mothers and female teens are diagnosed with Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs) which are more prevalent in the area.
“Most young girls in the region engage in early sexual activities with multiple sexual partners which exposes them to STIs and RTIs,” she explained.
The free medical camps, she added, offer an opportunity to counsel and sensitize the teenagers on responsible ways to engage in safe sexual practices.
Abuoro, a trained medical nurse lauded the Beyond Zero Initiative started by the first lady, Margaret Kenyatta in 2014, for the tremendous efforts it has made in reaching out to the vulnerable in the society.
The event held at the Uzima Celebration Church grounds in Kanyamedha benefited people from within the area and others from the neighbouring villages.
Similarly, she applauds continued support from the Kisumu County government, the Ministry of Health, and other stakeholders for their quest to provide free and accessible health services to the locals.
“On severe cases, we give referrals on conditions that we can’t manage to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and Kisumu County Referral Hospital for further treatment and counselling,” stated Abuor.
The locals received a wide range of services including treatment of malaria, simple allergies, coughs, and abdominal problems, family planning services, baby immunization, antenatal services and counselling on depression due to emerging socio-economic and cultural issues.
Mercy Waithera, 23, a first-time beneficiary, expressed her satisfaction with the free cervical cancer screening she received from the medics and further encouraged her fellow peers to take advantage and turn out in large numbers whenever such noble initiatives crop up in their residential areas.
“I am also glad that my one-year-old daughter has been treated for her niggling cough and given free syrups to take,” Waithera joyfully added.
40-year-old Joseph Odhiambo, an ulcer and neck pain patient thanked the event organizers for bringing purely free medical services closer to the Kanyamedha people.
The annual medical camp was not held in 2019 due to the outbreak of the Covid -19 scourge.
By Becky Galyns and Rolex Omondi