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Woman with swollen neck appeals for help

A large number of Kenyan populations do not go for health check-ups to establish their health status and according to the Kenya Medical Research Institution (KEMRI) 2021, the rise of Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs) accounts for about 27 per cent of total death cases in Kenya.

Violet Nafula, a 48 years old widow and a resident of Mabera in Kuria West Sub County is one of the people who ignored a small lump on her neck.

She has been silently suffering from a ruptured growth around her neck. A mother of one says that what started as a small lump around her neck has overgrown and recently it ruptured making it difficult for her to perform her daily chores.

She says, “the lump started in January this year and was painless but as months went by, I started to feel pain around the lump and having on and off headaches.”

Violet notes that she never went for a check-up but when the pain persisted, she decided to visit a nearby clinic. She explains that her house help work at the time was so important because it was paying her bills.

Migori County Communicable Disease Coordinator Dr. Paul Olik says that Kenyans only go for check-ups when an event is being celebrated, a good example being World Cancer Day, the World Tuberculosis Day and the World Kidney Day. All these events are celebrated worldwide yearly.

Dr. Olik says that regular health check-ups can identify any early signs of health issues. Discovering problems early means that a person has a good chance for effective treatment.

“Age, health, family history and lifestyle choices have an impact on how often we need health check-ups,” he said.

Violet acknowledges that the reason she never went for the early health check-up when the lump started to appear is because of the check-up fee that is always needed.

“I wish I had gone for a check-up immediately when the lump started, maybe the fee at the time would have been lower as compared to now”, said Violet.

She notes that in June she was advised to use traditional herbs by some of her neighbours, something that she says worsened the situation. Violet says that these traditional remedies opened up a huge wound which is now oozing with pus and producing a bad smell.

She explains that she visited her home clinic in Tagare Ward which referred her to Migori County Referral Hospital.

She says that doctors at Migori hospital still referred her to Kisii for specialized treatment but due to financial constraints she has been unable to do so.

“Migori Doctors asked me if I had the admission and check-up fee so that I could be referred to Kisii Referral Hospital. I had nothing then and I have nothing now to enable me access the said services”, says Violet.

She narrates that she used to work as a house help in Nairobi but when the pains persisted in June this year, she was unable to stomach it and therefore, decided to resign and return home.

Violet says that she has been buying paracetamols to help her ease the pain especially at night. She says she has been unable to access health check-up services so far and therefore, she cannot establish what is ailing her.

Violet is appealing to well-wishers to help her financially in order to seek the necessary treatment.

The assistance can be channeled through 0717 037 572

By Geoffrey Makokha 

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