Over 400 children in Garissa County have benefitted from a Safaricom Foundation funded Children with Diabetes programme launched in March last year. The programme has seen 2,000 children screened so far, with 429 receiving free medication including insulin and syringes at various health centers in Garissa County. Close to 300 children living with the disease have also been trained on diabetes self-management.
“We have made significant progress with our partners, the Pastoralists Girls Initiative and the County Government of Garissa which includes investing in training over 80 health care workers and 60 community health workers on diabetes management from all the 7 sub-counties of Garissa. The success in managing non-communicable diseases will depend on empowering all those involved in healthcare and equipping them with the necessary knowledge and tools to enable them create awareness ” said Joe Ogutu, Chairman, Safaricom Foundation.
The Foundation, in partnership with Garissa County, has also completed the construction and equipping of a KES 12 million child friendly diabetes centre at the Garissa Referral Hospital. The facility will not only cater to residents of the county but the neighboring Kitui, Wajir,Tana River and Isiolo counties.
Over 100 households have been enrolled unto NHIF as part of the programme. The 3-year Children with Diabetes programme is in its 2nd year of implementation and has been scaled up to all the 7 sub counties of Garissa.
The programme targets children and youth under the age of 21 years and focuses on addressing early detection, comprehensive care and health care system strengthening as well setting up model child-friendly diabetes clinics.
The World Health Organisation estimates that 26% of bed occupancy in hospitals in Kenya consist of diabetic patients while 50 % of kidney patients are found to be suffering from diabetes.
An estimated 478,000 Kenyans are living with diabetes 60% of whom are unaware while It is estimated that the number of children living with diabetes is increasing at a rate of 3.5 % annually.