Free medical camps come to patients’ aid as strike persists

Residents in Nyeri are now turning to free medical camps, which are organised by incumbents and aspirants, for treatment as the doctor’s strike maintains its pace.

On Saturday, Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi together with Medanta Africare organised a medical camp at Nyamachaki Primary School, which was characterized by long queues.

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Ms Murugi said most of the patients were suffering at home because they were unable to keep up with payments to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), through which members can access affordable care.

She added that they failed to continuously contribute to the fund because it was too expensive for them.

“I will ask the parliament to reduce the fee so that it can cover everyone across the board,” she said.

Monthly contributions range between Sh150 to Sh1,700 monthly.

Last year, the county government issued NHIF cards to the elderly and persons with disabilities.

However, the legislator claimed that the cards have not been renewed since November making it difficult for them to access medical care.

The patients were first tested for diabetes before they could be examined for any other ailment.

Dr Niraj Gupta, a cardiologist with Mendata Africare, said hypertension and diabetes were prevalent in the region.

Dr Gupta said the diseases are usually underdiagnosed and advised patients to change their lifestyles.

“People need to change their lifestyles. They also need to reduce cholesterol intake and increase intake of vegetables,” he said.

Rose Wambui said she never sought care at private facilities because of their high charges.

“I was supposed to go for an urgent X-ray in a private hospital, which costs about Sh5, 000, but I cannot afford that kind of money in a day,” she said.

Another patient, Mr Simon Kaguongo, commended the organisers because he no longer has chest pains.

“Many people are suffering in their homes because they do not have money to pay hospital bills or buy drugs. But my heart is at ease now that I will receive treatment cost-free,” the 71 year old said.

Mathira parliamentary seat hopeful George Warutere also organised a similar activity at Karatina Stadium.

Mr Warutere urged doctors to resume work to avert more loss of lives.

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