Over 700 Residents Screened For Hypertension And Diabetes In Lodwar

The County Department of Health and Sanitation has concluded screenings for diabetes and hypertension in Lodwar, revealing a low uptake of knowledge and information regarding these conditions.

The screenings, conducted in conjunction with the Kenya Red Cross Society, were held at the town centre, opposite the Cooperative Bank, Kataparkakono-Ng’itakito, Lopirpirae, and Tilak Grounds.

The town was selected because the urban population has embraced a sedentary lifestyle, predisposing them to these two non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Out of the 727 people screened, 59 were diagnosed with hypertension, and 15 were found to have type 2 diabetes.

During one of her supervisory visits, the Turkana Central Sub-County Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Mercy Kawira, emphasised the need to intensify health education on NCDs in the community through community health promoters and other healthcare workers to enhance diagnosis, treatment, referral, and timely tracing of patients.

‘We should ensure early diagnosis and tre
atment for NCD patients to improve their quality of life,’ she said.

She added that most patients are diagnosed while seeking outpatient and inpatient services, which is too late, hence the necessity of these screenings to minimize complications.

According to Patrick Moi, the Turkana Central Sub-county NCD Coordinator, patients diagnosed with either or both conditions were referred to the nearest health facility for enrollment in treatment and timely tracing.

‘We should enhance follow-ups at clinics and look forward to intensifying screenings in other major towns in the county for early diagnosis and treatment of clients,’ he said.

Moi highlighted that the screenings also provided data needed to plan for client treatment and management, as well as capacity building for healthcare workers on the management of NCDs.

At one of the screening sites, Tilak Grounds, EkaruLochu was diagnosed as having hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and high blood pressure. He was given a sweet and soda to raise his blood sugar a
nd monitored for half an hour.

‘I really appreciate this screening, as the nurse also advised me to reduce fat and salt in my diet, drink a lot of water, and exercise,’ said the 35-year-old resident of Kanamkemer.

As he waited to be tested again, Lochu had a brief consultation with the nutritionist to check if his vitals had improved; if not, he would be linked to a nearby health facility.

The new NCD clients were referred to either Lodwar County Referral Hospital, Ng’itakito, or Kawalase.

With support from the Kenya Red Cross, screenings will continue until the end of August 2024.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nakuru County Seeks To Maximize Health Care Provision Across Facilities

Nakuru County has started restructuring healthcare delivery through a programme dubbed Workload Indicators of Staffing Needs (WISN) that seeks to effectively manage available human resources across the County’s health facilities.

The department of Health Services has already embarked on sensitizing key stakeholders on the roll out plan in an effort to bring them on board and mobilize their support in implementing the programme.

Health County Executive Committee Member (CEC) Roselyn Mungai said that the department was confident of a successful roll out of the programme across the County’s facilities while ensuring effective utilization of the available human resources.

WISN is a facility-based scientific method from the World Health Organization that uses health workers’ workload and activity (time) standards to determine staff requirements, an approach that takes into account differences in services provided and the complexity of care in different facilities.

The WISN calculation of staff requirements is
based on the same medical standards in all similar facilities, ensuring consistency and fairness in staffing decisions.

While commissioning the rollout programme, Ms Mungai noted that the initiative would revolutionize staffing decisions, optimize healthcare workforce management, and enhance productivity to meet the needs of Nakuru residents.

She added that the next phase would incorporate training of the County Health Management Team members and at the same time cascade the WISN methodology, ensuring that every level of the healthcare system benefits from this innovative approach.

‘This initiative is part of our ongoing efforts to collaborate with like-minded partners and mobilize resources for better health services for all residents and I want to particularly thank USAID Tujenge Jamii, USAID Misingi Imara and Thinkwell for complementing our efforts in this,’ said Ms. Mungai.

The WISN method calculates the number of health workers per cadre, based on health facility workload and provides two indicators
to assess staffing, namely the gap/excess between current and required number of staff, and a measure of workload pressure.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), WISN user manual of November 2023, health workforce is the pivot on which health system performance relies and therefore human resources for health is a strategic area of focus crucial to affordable, accessible and high-quality health services.

The report further says that the ability of a country to meet its health commitments and goals largely depends on the number, skills, competencies and availability of health workers, and on whether those workers are organized and equitably distributed to deliver integrated, people-centered health services.

WHO noted that the health workforce was essential to achieving universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals and especially those related to ‘health workforce density and distribution’ and improved data on human resources for health.

According to the report, health service m
anagers around the world face increasing human resource challenges, such as inadequate resources to respond to the populations’ demand for services, uneven distribution of human resources and especially a poor balance between urban and rural areas, and between primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care.

Other challenges noted included inefficiencies due to uncoordinated HR practices from various stakeholders and poorly coordinated mechanisms for health information systems.

The Workload Indicators of Staffing Needs principle has long been used in business but was not employed in the health sector until the late 1990s, when the WISN method was field tested and used in several countries.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Severe acute respiratory infections raised in Bam, doctor

The Kongoussi health district recorded 231 cases of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) in the 24th week of epidemiological surveillance, including 2 deaths, said Saturday, the head doctor of the health district Arzouma Idrissa Ouédraogo.

The chief doctor spoke on June 29, 2024 in Kongoussi during a meeting of the provincial epidemic prevention committee chaired by the High Commissioner of the Bam Adama province Jean Yves Béré.

‘These are diseases which manifest themselves by coughing which occurs a lot in the cold season. They mainly affect children,’ explained Dr Ouédraogo.

To reverse the trend, the chief doctor advises to protect children well during harmattan.

As a reminder, severe acute respiratory infections caused 15 deaths out of 259 cases recorded in 2023, specifies the district’s diagnostic document.

Dengue prevention strategies have also been adopted to protect the population against this disease.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Cancer Survivors Support Group Launched In Nandi

Nandi County Government has launched a cancer survivors support group where residents will be sharing their personal experiences.

Over 128 survivors who converged at Kapsabet County Referral Hospital during the launch of the program said the support group will serve as a welcoming space for cancer patients and survivors in the county, enabling them to engage in a close-knit community engagement.

The group will also be a platform that will provide patients and survivors with the opportunity to get moral support from people who are actually going through the same situation, or people who have great knowledge and experience in providing emotional and psychological support.

‘This group aims at instilling persistence and hope in breast cancer patients, while providing them with all types of assistance needed,’ said Stella Birgenfrom Barton a breast cancer survivor.

Birgen began her treatment at Kapsabet Referral Hospital in 2021, undergoing eight cycles of chemotherapy. She said the support she received from h
ealthcare professionals and loved ones have been crucial in her fight against cancer.

According to her, cancer patients experience lack of attention, slow processing speed, memory dysfunctions, loneliness, anxiety and distress among other things which have a negative effect on the quality of life.

As a cancer survivor, Birgen has encouraged everyone to prioritize cancer screening, emphasizing that it can affect anyone regardless of age. Her own experience with breast cancer has shown her the importance of getting screened regularly, early detection and prompt treatment.

Jane Chepkoech, a resident of Kabutei and a cervical cancer survivor called on the County Government to provide financial support for cancer patients.

She highlighted the financial burden of treatment, stressing that it is costly and often difficult for patients to afford.

Speaking at the same event, Nandi Deputy Governor Dr Yulita Mitei said, ‘As a County Government, we are committed to enhancing access to cancer screenings and treatment
s for our residents. While we strive to bring these services closer, we also encourage our residents to utilize the oncology center at Kapsabet County Referral Hospital for comprehensive care and specialized treatment options’.

She went on ‘Together, we celebrate life, inspire hope, and reaffirm that no one has to face cancer alone.’

Nandi County Executive Committee Member for Health (CECM) Ruth Koech asserted that cancer diagnosis and treatment is an overwhelming process for the patients and their loved ones adding that the treatment of cancer is a journey right from the diagnosis to treatment and even after survival.

‘This cancer support group is extremely helpful for patients to get motivated and inspired every step of the way. We aim to combat cancer jointly by encouraging the patient and their families, and friends to be courageous and positive during the treatment process. At Kapsabet Oncology, we are committed to offering best clinical expertise, and service excellence for our patients in the County
,’ she said.

Koech said this is a platform that not only provides a safe space for survivors to share their experiences but also promotes a sense of belonging and solidarity. By offering emotional support, practical advice, and a network of understanding peers, the support group empowers survivors to navigate challenges with resilience and optimism.

‘When we first set up the cancer center in Kapsabet, we noticed many patients who came to us were already in advanced stages of cancer, often stages 3 and 4. This showed the treatment process that people were not getting diagnosed early enough or seeking treatment early. It’s a reminder of the importance of awareness and early detection in fighting cancer effectively. Our goal now is to improve access to screening and education,’ she said.

The CECM emphasized the importance of women in the community taking proactive steps against breast cancer, adding that it is leading in all types of cancer in the County.

Source: Kenya News Agency

NGAOs Lauded For Leading The Fight Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Alcohol

The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Nyanza Regional Manager Esther Okenye has commended the National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) for spearheading the fight against drug abuse and illicit alcohol in the region.

Speaking during the commemoration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Kisii, Ms. Okenye said the region currently ranks 5th nationally in the use of alcohol and drugs, a significant improvement from the 3rd position, according to statistics from NACADA.

She noted that despite an increase in population over the recent years, the consumption of alcohol and abuse of drugs had declined.

‘If all of us come together to kick out the brewing in our homes and let it be a regulated trade, we will go a long way in fighting illicit alcohol,’ the Regional Manager said.

Okenye noted that Kisii County had established a Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of different organizations to support the prevention of alcohol a
nd drug abuse within the county.

She said that in line with this year’s theme of ‘The Evidence is clear, invest in prevention,’ the partners were investing in prevention to curb the danger of wiping out members of the society.

The Regional Manager decried the increasing use of bhang among the student population saying that while the national average stands at 1.9 percent, the number of students using the substance stood at 3 percent.

As such, she pointed out that they were keen on working with the young people to share prevention messages with their counterparts so that they could join in the fight against illicit alcohol and drug abuse.

Violet Moke from the Kisii County Department of Social Services said they are committed and devoted to working with other stakeholders in the fight against alcohol and drug abuse in the county.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Over 1500 People In Kirinyaga Get Free Eye Treatment

Over 1500 people with eye complications in Kirinyaga County have benefitted from free treatment and cataract surgeries during a medical camp held at Kimbimbi Sub-county Hospital.

This came even as medics raised concern over a rise in number of people having eye complications in Mt. Kenya region which they attributed to increase in non-communicable diseases.

During the three-day medical camp organized by the County Government of Kirinyaga, Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) and Kenya Society for the Blind (KSB), 36 people underwent cataract surgeries to remove clouding of the lens of the eye.

One of the patients had lived with cataract on both eyes which had caused clouded vision for five years making it difficult for the patient to see clearly.

Patients were issued with glasses, medication and white canes for free.

Speaking during the medical camp, County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Medical Services, Public Health, and Sanitation George Karoki blamed the rise in eye
ailments in Mt. Kenya to increase in non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer and hypertension.

‘This particular trend of rise in non-communicable diseases is causing a big problem of the eye. We are very grateful for this particular support from these organizations because it has helped us reach out to more people who had not gotten treatment for eye problems,’ he said.

He emphasized that Governor Anne Waiguru has prioritized healthcare as one of her deliverables and this was what informed the initiative to set up an ultra-modern eye unit at the Kerugoya County Referral Hospital.

‘We have invested in establishing a state-of-the-art eye clinic complete with staff, an ophthalmologist, and a fully equipped theatre for eye problems,’ he added.

Karoki urged residents to undergo regular eye checkups, noting that early detection and diagnosis could lead to quicker treatment and prevent further complications.

The Kenya Society for the Blind (KSB) lauded efforts by the County Government for its efforts to
offer specialized eye treatment so as to help in the eliminating avoidable blindness.

KSB Chief Executive Officer Samson Waweru said establishment of an eye unit at the Kerugoya County Referral Hospital has ensured people facing eye problems do not have to travel to Nairobi for specialist treatment.

Waweru said about 10 million Kenyans were at a risk of getting blind, however, 85 to 90 percent of those who were likely to go blind have treatable cases if they are screened earlier.

He said the lead cause of blindness in the country is uncorrected deflective errors, cataracts, trachoma and other lifestyle diseases.

‘The statistics of visually impaired people according to the 2019 census stands at 334,000 legally blind individuals across the country. But the concerning statistics from the Ministry of Health is that 10 million Kenyans could wake up tomorrow to find themselves blind. This means that one out of every four Kenyans could face blindness, which is why this medical camp is crucial, as 85-90% of these
cases are treatable,’ he emphasized.

REREC Board Director Mark Nderitu explained that while REREC’s primary mandate is rural electrification, and that their involvement in the medical camp was part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts.

‘REREC is running 322 electrification projects across nine counties in the Mt. Kenya region, targeting to electrify over 15,500 households. In Kirinyaga, REREC has 20 projects aiming to electrify 1,250 households,’ he said.

Nderitu said expansion of electricity connection to unreached areas would help eliminate use of firewood for cooking and kerosene for lighting in homes.

Studies have linked inhaling of smoke that comes from cooking with firewood, charcoal, and kerosene as a health risk and major contributor to respiratory diseases, natal complications, eye problems, heart diseases.

He expressed gratitude to the Kirinyaga County Government for partnering with REREC, saying, ‘We are pleased with the massive turnout and the opportunity to impact the lives
of the community.’

Lydia Mugo, a 78-year-old resident of Murinduko area in Mwea East, expressed her gratitude for the camp.

‘I have never seen a free eye medical camp offering surgeries. We are thankful to have these free services through the Kirinyaga County Government and REREC. I have been attended to and my eyes can now see clearly,’ she said.

Stephen Njeru, a 70-year-old from Kanjo Sub-location, shared his relief after undergoing a cataract surgery at the camp.

‘I had cataract issues and needed surgery and medication. I struggled for over 3 years and was told I needed Sh70,000 for treatment.

‘Yesterday, I came to this medical camp, had the surgery done for free and now though the eye hasn’t healed completed, I have started seeing clearly images than before. I can see well, and the problem is gone. I am grateful,’ Njeru stated.

Source: Kenya News Agency