Hundreds of Mwatate Sub-county residents have benefitted from a free medical camp organized by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in partnership with Taita Taveta County government.
The medical camp, held at Mwakinyungu Primary school saw more than 800 patients from Msau, Ronge juu, Mlechi, Kithombo and Wundanyi benefit from free laboratory services, dental services, eye check-up, family planning, mother and child care, ENT and skin infections diagnosis, pharmaceutical services, cervical and prostate cancer screening, immunization, Covid – 19 vaccination as well as nutritional counselling.
Speaking during the exercise Monday, KPA Chief Pharmacist Dr. Njau Majimbo said the initiative was part of the organization’s way of giving back to the society, aimed at providing easy access to quality medical care in the country.
Dr. Majimbo said that most of the patients who were treated suffered from non-communicable diseases which have not been treated for a long time, among them high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
Some of the community members who benefited from the free medical camp lauded KPA for their noble gesture saying the medical camp enabled them to get proper medical treatment without paying a single cent.
They urged the corporate body to be carrying out such exercises on regular basis.
Led by Dishan Mshila and Linet Manga, the area residents said they have a challenge of getting proper medical care due to financial constraints and lack of essential drugs in the local medical facilities.
Kenya Ports Authority Head of Corporate Communications, Bernard Osero, underscored the role the Authority plays in the Coastal region counties in helping the less privileged members of the society to get quality healthcare through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Osero who also doubles as the Chairman of the Corporate Social Investment Committee, said the Authority spent Sh3 million shillings to organize the medical camp.
“The recipient and beneficiaries of the free medical camp have said we are doing a commendable job, most of the diseases we treated here are common ailments, the communities have been unable to seek medical attention due to high poverty levels and covering of long distances before accessing medical facilities,” said Osero
On her part, Taita Taveta County Deputy Governor (DG) Priscilla Kilalo who was present at the medical camp said there was an acute shortage of drugs for chronic ailments in the area because their medication was expensive.
However, she urged county residents to enroll under the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to enable them access health services with ease.
Kilalo said the county is struggling to service debts arising from purchase of drugs supplied by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), besides paying for leased medical equipment they inherited from the previous regime.
However, the devolved entity has since entered into an agreement with KEMSA and another private medical supplier to be delivering drugs to the county health facilities as a way of addressing shortage of the same.
The DG further said that lack of drugs in the health facilities was also being contributed by a drug theft syndicate in the area.
Meanwhile, the county government has procured modern equipment for treating cervical cancer, one of the deadliest diseases among women above 30 years of age in Kenya.
By Fatuma Said