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Caregivers call for funds to fight non-communicable diseases

Health & Science
 Homa Bay NCD Advocacy Chapter chairperson Mercy Kwamboka (centre) speaks during the mapping of sickle cell patients. [James Omoro, Standard]

A group of caregivers and persons living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Homa Bay have petitioned the county government to set aside funds in the budget to fight NCDs.

Homa Bay NCD Advocacy Chapter chairperson Mercy Kwamboka, her deputy Gordon Ayata, coordinator Teresa Odero and communication leader Florence Miyaya expressed concern that NCDs seem to be neglected because they are perceived as diseases that do not require emergency response.

Speaking in Homa Bay town during the mapping of sickle cell patients by NCD Alliance Kenya, Kwamboka emphasized that the perception about NCDs must change so that they can be given attention like other diseases.

“NCDs are serious diseases but people perceive them as diseases which don’t require urgent attention. We want this narrative to change,” she said.

She said the best way to change the narrative is through budgetary allocation to enhance medication and sensitisation on NCDs. Homa Bay is currently in the process of making its budget for the next fiscal year.

Kwamboka argued that the funds would be used to stock drugs and hire personnel for health facilities in village. She said this will cushion persons who suffer from the conditions from travelling long distances in search of medical care.

“We are appealing to our county government to establish a special fund and allocate adequate funds for NCDs in the budget. This should help in providing health services at health centers and dispensaries to enhance medication for many person who suffer from the diseases,” Kwamboka said.

Odero appealed to the policymakers to stop neglecting NCDs saying many health facilities lack adequate drugs for managing the same.

“You will find that a person is suffering from an NCD yet they lack drugs at their nearest health facilities. NCDs are serious hence we appeal to our policymakers to support persons living with the diseases,” Odero said.

Ayata called for sensitisation on NCDS to ensure better prevention through lifestyle changes. “Most of the NCDs result from lifestyle. There is need for our policymakers and health promotion organisations to invest in sensitisation to enhance prevention,” he said.

NCDs are conditions that are not mainly caused by an acute infection, result in long-term health consequences and often need long-term treatment and care.

They include sickle cell, diabetes, asthma, cancers, cardiovascular diseases and asthma among others.


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