Hundreds of Kajiado County residents have benefitted from a free medical camp hosted by the County Government of Kajiado in collaboration with Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya’s Beyond Zero Initiative and other partner organizations.
The free fistula camp kicked off on Friday April 21st at Kajiado County Referral Hospital with a one-day sensitization workshop of healthcare workers on fistula screening and care.
The camp ends on Friday April 29 and draws support from UNFPA Kenya, AMREF Health Africa in Kenya, Flying Doctors Society of Africa, Royal Media Services as well as Safaricom and M-Pesa Foundations.
Speaking during the camp, Kajiado Governor’s spouse Mrs. Edna Lenku thanked the First Lady’s Beyond Zero Initiative for conducting a successful medical camp.
“Since the onset of the camp, we have managed to screen over 100 fistula patients from different counties including Bomet, Marsabit, Machakos, Nairobi and Kajiado. Out of these, 29 women were confirmed to have fistula, and 20 of them have already undergone successful free surgeries. More patients are still flowing in and the numbers are likely to increase due to intensified community mobilization” said Mrs Lenku.
Noting that obstetric fistula and eye ailments were the major health challenges in the County requiring urgent focus, Mrs. Lenku called for more partnerships.
She attributed the fistula prevalence in the County to teenage pregnancies, untimely access to obstetric care and harmful cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation.
Reiterating First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s commitment to the promotion of healthy lives and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents, Beyond Zero Coordinator Angella Langat encouraged women and girls who suffer constant incontinence to come for free fistula screening and have their dignity restored.
On his part, the UNFPA Kenya Representative, Anders Thomsen called for greater efforts in health system strengthening for prevention and treatment of fistula.
The Country Director for AMREF Health Africa in Kenya Dr. Ndirangu Wanjuki said no woman should die while giving life or get a birth injury, pointing to an urgent need to fully implement the National Strategic Framework on Female Genital Fistula: Towards a Free Fistula Nation by 2030.
The Chief Executive Officer for Flying Doctors Society of Africa, Tanya Nduati called for an integrated approach in the treatment of fistula encompassing community education on prevention and availability of treatment, counselling and reintegration of patients.
Others who spoke during the tour included Safaricom and Mpesa Foundations Programme Manager Gilbert Emole among others.
During the free fistula camp, additional free services were provided on 27th and 28th of April and these included targeted HIV testing and counselling; comprehensive eye screening; and scheduling of free cataract surgeries with the support of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), VisionSpring and Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital respectively.
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