As both the national government and devolved units shift focus to containing the spread of coronavirus, Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui has said that renewed vigor and heavy investments in research and public awareness campaigns needed to be directed at non communicable diseases (NCDs) which were rising at an alarming rate.
Kinyanjui said more than 58 percent of deaths recorded in Nakuru during the 2018/2019 period were caused by non-communicable diseases which accounted for more than 50 per cent of hospital admissions.
“As we direct resources and manpower at protecting our communities from the coronavirus, ailments such as diabetes, asthma, cancer and hypertension are assuming the potential to become pandemic,” stated the County boss.
Nakuru county, he said had distributed medical supplies worth Sh205 million in all its health facilities towards diagnosis management and treatment of the ailments.
“Unless persons with pre-existing conditions are taken care of, the impact of Covid-19 will not be minimized. We have a team of qualified medical personnel that is tasked with managing other diseases and offering prenatal and antenatal services,” assured Kinyanjui.
He indicated that his administration was also heavily investing in screening of the ailments and employment of geriatricians (doctors who specialize in the elderly and the diseases that affect them).
“We have heavily invested in putting up modern outpatient complexes and hospitals across the county where we have pumped more than Sh1 billion. We will soon unveil a modern oncology center constructed at the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital at a cost of Sh500 million and an outpatient complex that cost Sh600 million,” noted the governor.
He expressed concern that the rapid rise in NCDs is projected to impede poverty reduction initiatives in low-income areas of the County, particularly by increasing household costs associated with health care and loss of breadwinners.