Striking doctors
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Desperate patients seek options amid strike by doctors

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Striking doctors in a procession along Uhuru Highway in Nairobi on April 9, 2024.

Photo credit: File| Nation Media Group

Amid a work boycott by doctors countrywide to push the government to address grievances relating to pay and other issues, desperate patients in Kiambu County are resorting to seeking treatment in free medical camps established by charitable organisations.

The Nation has established that poor locals who cannot afford private healthcare are thronging free medical camps to seek help, often regardless of whether such camps have been established to cater for their ailments.

On Sunday, during a clinic organised by Zetech University, PCEA Kikuyu Hospital and Christian Blind Mission, more than 2, 600 people turned up at Zetech University’s Mang’u campus seeking help for different ailments.

No doctors

Mr John Mwangi (not his real name) from Kiandutu in Thika , who is living with HIV, told Nation he was aware that the medical camp was for eye problems but he had turned up anyway hoping to get a refill of his anti-retroviral drugs because he couldn’t access them at the Thika Level Five Hospital as there were no doctors to hand them out.

Zetech University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Alice Njuguna said the huge turn out reflected a bigger problem with healthcare in the county. She stressed the importance of concerted efforts to address community health needs.

“Today, we have attended to nearly 2,610 patients with eye conditions such as cataracts, colour blindness, dry eyes, and diabetic retinopathy,’’ Prof Njuguna told Nation.