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Health CS Nakumicha launches Sh1b grant for war against diabetes

 Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakumicha during World Diabetes Day celebration at Iten town, Elgeyo Marakwet County on November 14, 2023. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakumicha has launched a Sh1 billion grant to support the fight against diabetes in the country.

Speaking during the World Diabetes Day in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet, on Wednesday, Nakhumicha said the ministry, in partnership with the World Diabetes Foundation, will facilitate the fight against diabetes for the next four years.

The CS regretted that diabetes has become one of the killer diseases because of lack of proper medication and early diagnosis.

“As we mark World Diabetes Day, we note the disease remains high across the communities because people fail to go for early screening and proper treatment,” she said.

She noted that 4 per cent of Kenyans are diabetic, and more than 87 per cent have never gone for a blood sugar test, which is a threat to the nation.

Nakumicha explained that with a proper diet, which includes eating fruits and vegetables, one can stop diabetes and urged locals to avoid the use of tobacco and alcohol.

“Children and youth bear the burden of diabetes in Kenya. We are currently running six centres across the country which act as learning and hubs where we have also administered insulin to over 4,000 children living with diabetes,” she said.

The CS said with early diagnosis and proper medication, some diabetic conditions can be reversed and allow people to be productive.

She was optimistic that with the recent deployment of community health promoters (CHPs), they will be in a position to screen and refer patients to the hospital for early treatment.

The CS said the kits given to CHPs, which include a glucometer and pressure testing machine and training, will enhance service delivery to locals.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wesly Rotich noted that more than 400 cases are being reported in Iten County Referral Hospital, while out of 1,000 people screened, 14 are diabetic.

He said the presence of CHPs at the community level will ease the pressure of health services in hospitals.

The CHPs are at the centre of handling primary health care and early diagnosis of diabetes and other related diseases affecting locals.

“Diabetes is not a death sentence. We want to encourage you to utilize our health promoters and ensure you are screened,” he said.

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