Vihiga County to offer free diabetes screening, treatment

Vihiga County government has put in plans to enhance access to diabetes treatment for residents.

Department of Health Services announced that residents will benefit from free screening, treatment and management of the disease.

County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health Nicholus Mwandihi, said residents will access free diabetes treatment at Vihiga County Referral Hospital and related sub-county hospitals.

Free diabetes screening and drug distribution will also be offered at Level Two and Three health facilities by the end of this year.

Dr Mwandihi is optimistic that free screening and treatment will help lessen the financial burden of families in the management of the lifestyle disease.

"In tackling diabetes in Vihiga, we will see the county government offer services that are critical to the patients in all our health facilities at no cost," he said.

Data from the Health Department shows that diabetes patients in the county stand at 4 per cent of the population, which is approximately 30,000 people.

The county government has appealed to residents to turn out for diabetes screening in the health facilities to ensure disease management at an early stage.

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterised by elevated levels of blood glucose or blood sugar.

Increased cases of non-communicable diseases like diabetes in Vihiga have been attributed to poor lifestyle, lack of proper diet and prevalence of obesity.

The disease, if not managed, leads to damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.

Healthcare say diabetes is a manageable condition, and with the right treatment, patients can live long and productive lives free of complications from damage to vital organs.

"We urge residents to start eating a healthy diet with less refined sugars, low salt and fats and plenty of fruits and vegetables to avoid the disease," said Dr Mwandihi.

The Health CEC said Community Health Promoters (CHPs) will screen residents for diabetes at the household level.

"The CHPs will get kits like glucometer and pressure testing machine, and after training to enable them to test the residents at their homes, for early detection," he said.

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