The establishment of a medical laboratory in the highest part of Kirinyaga County has brought great relief to residents who now have access to one-stop medical services in their village.
The Joshua Mbai Dispensary laboratory which was opened by Governor Ann Waiguru has brought a sigh of relief to residents of Githure and nearby villages who previously had to travel more than three miles in search of government medical laboratory services.
The dispensary, which serves around 4,000 residents, has been in operation since 1993, but patients have had to be referred to other facilities for medical tests.
They either had to travel miles to the health center in Kiamutugu or travel to private facilities, spending money on transport and laboratory services. Referrals were not only expensive but also time consuming and could sometimes delay diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
With the opening of the laboratory, patients are now able to obtain comprehensive medical services as well as early diagnosis of diseases thus enabling rapid intervention.
Paul Gichohi, a resident of Rung’eto, recounted how tedious it was to travel to the Kiamutugu health center every time they needed tests.
He said that due to the high number of people at the health center, many hours were spent waiting for their turn to be served. With laboratory services within their village, it now only takes a short time for consultation, diagnosis and treatment.
Mary Njeri from the Kiamugumo region is another lucky beneficiary of the lab project. She used to attend diabetes clinics at the nearby county’s Embu County Hospital, nearly three miles away.
Since the lab opened in her locality, she has been attending her clinics at the Joshua Mbai Dispensary, which she says has saved her a lot of time and money.
Njeri says she attends her monthly clinics in the morning and then goes about her daily chores. “We are very happy with this establishment because we have access to medical care and we do not pay anything for it. I am grateful to Governor Waiguru for providing us with such crucial service,” she said.
Another patient, Diana Njeri, said that before the lab opened, it meant that without money one could not get treatment because one had to use money to travel to a private facility in one’s area or to go to a government establishment where he would spend money. on transport.
The officer in charge of the facility, Samuel Ngumo, said that since the lab opened, the number of patients visiting the clinic has increased from 800 to 1,300 per month, with the lab serving about 13 patients per day.
“More patients now come here because they are assured of comprehensive services,” he said. He noted that for advanced tests that cannot be done in their lab, the facility has a runner who is sent to collect the samples from Kerugoya County and the referral hospital, after which the results are released. sent back to the dispensary. This means that referrals to other hospitals have been minimized.
He noted that in the short time the lab was in operation, they were able to diagnose seven cases of TB that otherwise would have remained undiagnosed and would likely have reached critical or fatal stages.
He said the dispensary offers outpatient services which include tuberculosis services, antenatal and postnatal services, child protection clinics, and pharmacy and laboratory services, among others.
Joshua Mbai’s lab is one of 19 stalled dispensary projects Governor Waiguru has set out to complete. Other facilities already completed and opened include Kiamwathi, Kianjiru and Kamwana while Umoja, Rikithiga among others are ready for operation.
The completion of the projects, left unfinished by the previous regime, aims to strengthen the provision of primary health care in the county by improving accessibility for thousands of residents who travel long distances to reach health facilities. closer.
“When people access quality primary health care, they don’t need to travel to higher level hospitals, which can then be relieved to manage complex health issues and critically ill patients,” said said the governor at the opening of one of the facilities.
She reiterated her administration’s commitment to improving health infrastructure and service delivery with the aim of achieving universal health coverage in the county.
By Irungu Mwangi