Medical staff from Chogoria Mission Hospital in collaboration with the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) held a walk at Chuka town to commemorate World Diabetes Day.
Speaking at Chuka PCEA Church after the walk, Chogoria PCEA Mission Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Elijah Mwaura said that some people in rural areas don’t undergo screening for diabetes as they believe it is a disease for the rich living in urban towns.
“In past years, diabetes was known as a silent killer because there was no testing equipment and doctors had to test the patients’ urine to find out if the patient had diabetes, which is no longer the case as there are better test methods in many facilities for early detection of the disease,” Mwaura divulged.
He noted that diabetes cases are on the rise due to modern lifestyles, adding that many people refrain from early tests due to fear of a positive diagnosis. “Many people are not getting tested early enough basing their argument on the myth that what you do not know can’t kill you,” he said.
He urged residents to get tested regularly adding that even if positive one can live along and healthy if they adhere to appropriate lifestyles.
On his part, Dr. Cyprian Kamau from the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK) pointed out that a third of the population with diabetes experience late diagnosis and hence lack a good healthy diet as well as exercise posing a greater risk.
Kamau noted that diabetes is a painless disease that slowly destroys body organs such as the heart, kidneys, eyes which may lead to death. He advised the public to eat right, and exercise regularly to prevent diabetes.
Additionally, Jack Murithi, a health officer working with Tharaka Nithi County Government said that in Kenya around 460 people out of 10,000 suffer from diabetes.
“As a county, we encourage our members to get tested so as to prevent deaths and also contain the disease. We have community health volunteers among us and they help in creating awareness on the benefits of screening for diabetes and other non-communicable diseases,” Murithi disclosed.
Karingani ward MCA Godfrey Murithi thanked the medics for creating awareness and educating the public on the benefit of getting tested for diabetes.
“As a County, we will collaborate with all hospitals to make sure our people get medicine. We will also come up with a bill to ensure that diabetes and other non-communicable diseases are treated at a cheaper cost,” he said.
Murithi also urged the residents to enroll in the National Hospital Insurance fund (NHIF) so as to reduce the cost of health services.
By Kelvin Miriti