Safaricom Foundation in partnership with the Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre recently held a free medical camp at Ahero in Kisumu County. This is part of the foundation’s efforts to ease access to quality medical care in the country. It is one of the many other medical camps held by Safaricom over the years in the various parts of the country. Their aim is to positively impact the lives of local communities which have little or no access to healthcare. Statistics show that over 40% of Kenyans are hindered from access to healthcare by the cost of medical services. On the other hand, 18% cannot access medical services due to distance.
The Kisumu medical camp is part of the Twaweza Live Campaign which is a 7-month long program that will see Safaricom engage with communities across Kenya with medical camps, campus takeovers, great device offers, talent searches, music concerts, youth mentorship and programs. The Kisumu medical camp saw over 2000 people benefit from free consultations, diagnosis, surgeries, and treatment. Some of the diseases that were attended to include diabetes, prostate cancer, eye cataracts, and breast cancer. There were also dental checkups and VCT for HIV/AIDS.
Majority of the people checked and treated were women totaling up to more than 1,200 women. Over 900 people got diabetes checkups. 4 new cases were diagnosed. When it comes to diabetes, most people are diagnosed too late. For some, the diagnosis does not help them much due to lack of money to buy drugs. There were a number of different cases diagnosed; diabetes with hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes with foot problems. For foot care and wounds, there was a team to debride, remove and dress the ulcers.
Eye-checks were also in high demand with over 700 people getting free consultations. People were tested for Cataracts, Glaucoma, Retinopathy, Trachoma, and Allergies. All the 67 people found with cataracts had surgeries to get them removed. About 300 people were found to have eye allergies and Retinopathy. With this diagnosis, it becomes easier for the afflicted patients to seek further treatment.
One area people often neglect when it comes to medical care is dental health. Especially if services are out of your reach or cost too much. Yet dental health is an important aspect of overall physical health. Out of the 230 dental checkups done, there were 223 tooth extractions. Additionally, 23 people had referrals to major dental care centers.
Access to reproductive health care in Kenya for both men and women is also lacking. A majority of people get Cancer diagnosis when it is too late. 100 men got tested for Prostate Cancer with no positive outcomes. Of the 50 women screened for cervical cancer, 2 tested positive while 4 were found with breast lumps. Lastly, 156 people went for HIV testing with 2 positive results recorded. All the 2000 plus people who went to the medical camp were also dewormed.
Such medical Camps are also important provided during the camp work to ensure that people are diagnosed early before small health problems turn into serious complications. That is why Safaricom Foundation is keen on providing free medical services all over the country so they can bring these services to those that need it most.