By DC/PR and GPS

Nyandarua’s County-sponsored enrollment into the National Hospital Insurance Fund is the biggest in the region, it has been revealed.

Speaking during a free orthopedic camp at Njabini Health Center, the fund’s representative for Central Region Mr. Jeremiah Ochiel said the County Government is leading in ensuring the needy benefit from medical cover.

“The 5,500 who are currently benefiting include people living with disabilities, the elderly and other vulnerable groups,” he said, urging more residents to enroll.

The County Government has supported 4,500 people, in addition to 1,000 from the National Government Constituency Development Fund in Ol’Jororok Sub-County.

Central Region for the fund comprises Nyandarua, Kiambu, Laikipia, Samburu, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Murang’a counties.

His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia launched the initiative in Magumu Ward, Kinangop Sub-County on May 29, 2019 as one of his strategies towards attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which is part of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.

UHC seeks to ensure that individuals and communities receive essential health Services without suffering financial hardship.

Thanking Mr. Ochiel for the update, Her Excellency the First Lady (Amb.) Ann Kimemia noted that families have suffered devastating effects of illnesses, including sale of assets, detention in health facilities and even death due to lack of strategic health financing mechanisms.

“I urge our residents – particularly those who will be paid for by the County Government – to select public health facilities so that funds reimbursed by NHIF can be used to further improve services in Nyandarua,” she said.

Today’s camp, like yesterday’s at the J.M Kariuki Memorial County Referral Hospital, targeted children aged below 18 years, providing care for 164 patients suffering from such orthopedic conditions as clubfoot, burn contractures, osteomyelitis and other acquired or congenital conditions.

18 of the beneficiaries came from neighbouring counties.

The camp was carried out in conjunction with doctors from the AIC-CURE International Hospital in Kijabe, Africa’s first orthopedic pediatric teaching hospital for children with disabilities.

The hospital conducts mobile clinics to identify children in remote areas who can be treated in Kijabe and to provide follow-up care for those who have received surgery.

“We have been impressed by the turn-out and enthusiasm from the people of Nyandarua. We will continue supporting the First Lady’s noble cause,” the team’s medical director, Dr. Joseph Theuri, said.

A supporting team from the Beyond Zero Campaign, led by Mrs. Vivian Ngugi, also noted that Nyandarua has become a model County in their campaign.

The County Government has recruited a physiotherapist each for J.M Kariuki Memorial County Referral Hospital and Njabini Health Center, in addition to an occupational therapist and two orthopedic trauma clinical officers, also at J.M Kariuki Memorial County Referral Hospital.

Further, the Governor has acquired physiotherapy and orthopedic equipment worth over KShs. 7 million.

According to the 2009 census, Nyandarua has over 16,000 PLWDs.

Out of these, 5,303 have physical disabilities.

The First Lady, who is the matron of PLWDs in Nyandarua, has been a champion for a wide range of causes, including healthcare for the aged, women, orphans and other vulnerable children.

Accompanying her were County Executive Committee Members Hon. (Dr.) John Mungai (Health Services) and Hon. Ann Gathigia (Youth, Sports, Gender and Social Services), alongside Chief Officers Mr. Nelson Kimilu (Health Services) and Mr. Isaac Wanjiru (Youth, Sports, Gender and Social Services).

In attendance was Member of the County Assembly for Njabini-Kiburu Ward Hon. Kiiru Gachomba, in addition to his nominated counterparts Hon. Salome Gathoni and Hon. Margaret Mumbi.