Published in the Saturday Nation Newspaper on 21st July, 2018
Despite the rollout of devolution after 2013, several regions in the country remain remote. Often, wen a medical emergency strikes, victims are forced to travel far for medical care, with some dying in the process.
But thanks to a group of students whose calling is to intervene in marginalized areas, many a life is being saved.
Having formed RockHealth Integrated Care Organization (RICO), in 2016, 14 medical students of Kenyatta University and 15 international health ambassadors have traversed several remote regions when help was most needed.
The co-founders, Hakeem Kiboi and Juma Theophilus, have come together with other students studying medicine, pharmacy, nursing, psychology and medical lab technology to form the organization and extend their acquired skills to help the needy.
The goup claims they were motivated by the poor health care system in some marginalised rural parts of Kenya.
“We visualised the idea in 2015 after an advisory from the First Global Coference of Patient Centered Care. We considered an intervention due to the many reported cases of death from non-communciable diseases in marginalized areas,” said Mr. Kiboi.
Findings released this year by the Commission on revenue Allocation indicated that 1,424 sub locations are marginalised. The mentioned places are scattered across 34 counties and consist of 5.6 million people.
And in May this year, the group embarked on a mission of intervention in Pokot and Baringo counties when floods and malaria ravaged locals following heavy rains.
Pokot Deputy Governor Jacob Chepkwony commended the trainees for providing free medical consultation, drugs and food to the locals.
“It is a commendable job by young trainees; we need to encourage such initiatives that help our people,” said Mr. Chepkwony.
Carol Wanjiku, a pharmacist trainee and the group spokesperson, said, they were optimistic that their work will inspire other professionals to cotribute towards making society a better place.
Last month, the group visited marginalised areas in Kuria. “Several people were tested for high blood pressure for the first time in their livers. We advised them accordningly,” said Ms Wanjiku.
The group will be heading to Murang’a and Kajiado Counties within the next two months, to continue with their mission of charity. [Michael Chepkwony]