Eye problems, malnutrition common in Isiolo sub-county

Some of Isiolo residents at the medical camp organised by St Theresa Mission Hospital Kiirua at Isiolo town Catholic church hall on June 24, 2022. 

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

A majority of Isiolo sub-county residents have eye problems, a medical camp by St Theresa Mission Hospital has revealed.

Out of 786 people who turned up for general consultation, 304 had various eye problems, with 222 requiring the care of an ophthalmologist and eight in need of urgent cataract removal and pterygium surgeries.

“We referred six patients who required serious medical attention,” hospital Director Sr Mary Agnes Nkatha said.

She said the programme was part of the hospital’s corporate social responsibility.

Malnutrition was high among children and the elderly, and 111 cases were recorded, she said.

More than 1,000 people were treated for various illnesses and provided with the required drugs.

Among the services offered at the camp were diabetic and hypertension screening, cervical and breast cancer screening, orthopaedic and physiotherapy consultation, eye and ENT screening, Covid-19 vaccination, cardiac screening and HIV testing.

Of the 84 who turned up for cervical and breast cancer screening, nine suspected cases were referred for detailed tests, she said.

Addressing journalists at the Isiolo town Catholic church, where the camp was held, Sr Nkatha said 16 people were diagnosed with diabetes, 41 turned up for Covid-19 vaccination and 150 were tested for HIV.

Three children were found to be in need of open-heart surgeries.

Similar programmes will be undertaken in Tharaka Nithi, Nyeri, Meru, Laikipia and Embu, according to the hospital’s spokesperson Susan Wambui.

The hospital is also running a peace campaign and sporting activities targeting youths in the Mt Kenya region that will last until after the August 9 elections.

“We are also going round asking Kenyans to remain united before, during and after elections,” she said.

The group will partner with local hospitals for subsequent treatment and follow-ups for some of the patients who needed advanced treatment.

“We also have walks, cycling and sporting activities running concurrently with the camps to keep youths engaged and appeal to them to preach peace during the electioneering period,” Ms Wambui said.

The hospital, they said, will continue carrying out health education especially on lifestyle diseases in efforts to deal with diabetes, hypertension and malnutrition in the region.

Cleric Gerald Muriuki, who was also a beneficiary, said he attended the camp after failing to find some drugs at Isiolo Referral Hospital and had no money to purchase them.

“Such programmes should be undertaken on a regular basis because our public hospitals are in a mess and the majority of the services are not available, let alone drugs,” he said.

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