For over a decade, hundreds of residents near Igena Itambe Health Centre in Nyamira County-Kenya, waited for the completion of the health facility so that it could benefit them. Located over 300km West of the capital Nairobi, patients suffered additional pain when they walked long distances to get treatment in other health facilities.
In October 2017, they were all smiles when the facility officially opened its doors for them. In their numbers, residents turned up to witness the launching ceremony officiated by the then Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i (now in charge of Interior).
“It has been a long wait,” an elderly man was overheard saying as Dr Matiang’i cut the ribbon at the height of the ceremony.
Remarkably, over 800 people benefited from a free medical camp organized by various government , non-governmental organizations and private sector.
The Oigara Community Foundation Director, Dr Joyce Oigara who was among the organizers of the medical camps said the turn-up surpassed their expectations.
“From the big number that turned up, it was evident that the medical camp was a success and locals needed such services to alleviate supplement the heath sector efforts,” Dr Oigara said.
During the camp, those who turned up were screened for various ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure, breast and cervical cancer.
“Our team of medics was able to examine and provide both advise and medicines to thousands hundreds of their clients,” Dr Oigara said.
The Oigara Community Foundation had partnered with various sectors including Health, Environment and Natural Resources and Agriculture and Livestock ministries. Other Key partners who supported the camps included the Agricultural Sector Development Support Program (ASDSP), Kisii University, Enroll Consultants, Maraba Investments International, Green Firm Solutions, Selgell International Consultants and ICRSD, a Non Governmental Organization.
Apart from offering health services, the partnership assisted residents with abundant knowledge in agriculture and issued them with various seedlings.
“We provided them with seedlings of avocados and bananas as well as soya beans,” Ms Vicky Onderi who contested for the Women Representative seat in Kisii County during the 2017 general elections said. Ms Onderi noted that the exercise would benefit residents form both two counties of Kisii and Nyamira .
She said that for the community to succeed, women and the youth who make the bulk of the population must be economically empowered and be healthy.
Enroll Consultants’ Jared Nyandoro said time was ripe for Kenyans to engage in little politics and more development if the country is to strengthen its economy.
Over twenty similar medical camps were held in various constituencies in Nyamira and Kisii including at Tindereti in Borabu constituency, the home constituency for Oigara foundation where 300 people were screened and treated for various illnesses.
“We all need to support the President (Uhuru Kenyatta) to deliver his pledges to Kenyans,” Nyandoro said.
Health is among President Kenyatta’s four priority areas during his second term in office after he was re-elected into office in 2017.