Amref Health Africa in Kenya in partnership with the County Government of Nakuru and AstraZeneca joined the world in marking this year’s World Kidney Day on Thursday in Nakuru with calls on residents to enroll on the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
The speakers led by Nakuru Health CEC Dr Jonah Mwangi urged the locals to take advantage of the medical cover to treat kidney-related complications, saying treating the disease can be a big burden to many families.
“We have seen many patients resort to fundraising to treat kidney and other chronic illnesses. Enrolling on NHIF will alleviate many from a cycle of abject poverty,” he said.
The World Kidney Day is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness on the importance of our kidneys. Kidney disease is often called a ‘silent disease’ because it does not always present symptoms. This makes it difficult to accurately diagnose before it reaches advanced stages.
“Prevention is key in kidney health. We use little money in prevention than in treatment. In prevention, we have to look at the environment we live and give proper information and services to people. We are happy that Amref is on board to offer awareness and screening services in communities,” said Dr Mwangi.
The colourful ceremony which was marked at Nakuru Referral Hospital also saw around 200 people screened for urinalysis, blood pressure and blood sugar.
“Proper treatment and prevention strategies are required to prevent the progression of chronic kidney disease in patients. Reducing kidney cases requires collaboration across the governments and with partners from civil society organisations, communities, researchers, the private sector and development agencies,” noted Dr Mwangi, in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Osore, the Director Planning and Administration.
Ngure Karanja, the Health Promotion Officer advised residents to improve their health by maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy, exercise and going for screening.
Amref Health Africa in Kenya through Healthy Heart Africa Hypertension project is currently supporting 20 health facilities in 11 sub-counties of Nakuru. The project has so far trained 95 Community Health Workers in 19 health facilities to provide quality hypertension services at the community level and at the health facilities through screening.
Photos and Story by Maureen Cherongis.