KPA free medical camp offers Kilifi residents life-saving treatment
Shamim Gona, 18, a resident of Kaloleni area in Kilifi county arrives at Chanagande Primary School to seek medication at a free medical camp sponsored by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
She is pale, her skin virtually yellowing and she is visibly weak. She has been ailing for months.
With her arms wrapped around her 11-month-old baby, Gona drags her frail frame as she saunters towards the doctor’s office where she is reviewed and sent to the laboratory for tests.
Technologists conduct a Haemoglobin (HB) test and establish that her HB level count stands at 3 grams per deciliter against the required 11.5 or more, signifying that she is severely anaemic.
KPA’s Head of Medical Services Dr Gome Lenga concludes that her situation is critical and requires close monitoring.
Gona is quickly wheeled out to a standby ambulance then driven to Mariakani Sub-County Hospital, more than 24 kilometres away.
“This is severe anaemia and if not closely monitored, can lead to enlarged heart or heart failure and eventually death. This is why it is important that the patient is taken to a medical facility where she can be admitted and monitored,” Lenga explains.
Medics say hers is a dire case considering that she has been attending prenatal and postnatal clinics at a nearby facility for more than a year, yet the case was never detected.
This is a challenge replicated in thousands of other residents, who seem to have learnt to survive with chronic diseases. “We targeted this region because we were looking for vulnerable areas that lack of proper healthcare. We sent a team upfront for a feasibility study and from there we got a picture of a list of complications to handle,” Dr Lenga told People Daily.
“We established that non-communicable diseases, especially high blood pressure are the most common here,” he added.
Medic reckon that most of the sudden deaths occasionally reported in the area could be related to poor access to healthcare.
Medics in Kilifi admit that inadequate health facilities in the highly populated Chanagande area has continued to deny residents access to quality healthcare services.
Area Public Health Officer Wilson Njenga says, the entire Chanagande area, with a population of more than 22,000 people, rely solely on Chalani health centre.
“The medical camp was life-saving because residents hardly access medical care. This is why it has discovered conditions that are not easy to detect in dispensaries. In this camp we have had two cases of hernia, which have been referred for surgery, several hypertensive cases and one severe anemic case,” he said.