Non-Communicable diseases, a concern for the Church

Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) – Commission for Health is committed to provision of affordable health care to the less fortunate in the society especially those diagnosed with non-communicable diseases.

In an interview with Waumini News Today, the Commission for Health National Executive Secretary Jacinta Mutegi, said access to healthcare for hypertension and diabetic patients has been a challenge due to high cost of medication, lack of equipped facilities and healthcare workers at the grass root levels, a situation that has since improved with the Commission’s intervention.

“In 2011, insulin used to cost as much as kshs 1,800 for a monthly dose but with partnerships, clients receiving services in faith based facilities can access the same at less than ksh 500.” She confirmed

Mutegi said that, many health facilities despite having structural capacity were not serving diabetes patients and would always refer them to bigger facilities for management adding that, with capacity building of healthcare workers, this is now happening to lower level facilities including dispensaries and health centres. “Numbers have increased from no patients to hundreds of regular clients.” She said

She acknowledged that through partnership with Health Heart Africa (HHA) a programme that seeks to address the burden of non-communicable diseases in Africa and particularly hypertension that has become the leading cause of mortality, early diagnosis of these diseases have been recorded due to enhanced awareness creation on the need to take up check-ups on blood pressure.

Mutegi expressed gratitude to KCCB- Commission for Health partners being AstraZeneca, ministry of health, County governments and MEDS as she looks forward for continued mutual collaboration in scaling up the same to other regions and to all the health facilities in the Catholic Church network.

KCCB is implementing the pilot programme in 32 health facilities in nine Dioceses.

By Rose Achiego

 

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