First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero Initiative has began a new intervention specifically targeting rural communities with medical services to support sectors adversely affected by COVID-19.
Beyond Zero is keen on supporting Kenyans in resuscitating their economic activities by providing critical health services in the rural areas.
Speaking Tuesday at the inaugural event to launch the programme, Beyond Zero Programme Officer Angella Langat said that like the original Beyond Zero Medical Safaris, the new approach dubbed ‘Mini Medical Safaris’, will take specialised and regular medical services to vulnerable communities, including flower farm workers, at no cost.
“Today is our first mini medical safari outreach. We normally have big outreaches where over 10,000 people are offered various medical services.
“In a typical medical safari we have 25 medical services providers with various medical services offered,” Ms Angela Langat, Beyond Zero Programme Officer said Tuesday at Timaflor Flower Company in Timau where the organization is holding its first three-day mini outreach.
In addition to providing curative medical services, Ms Langat said the new approach will prioritise public health messaging targeted at beneficiary communities so as to promote preventive healthcare.
“Today Beyond Zero is giving an array of services ranging from HIV/AIDS testing and counselling, screening of cervical and breast cancer, registration of Linda mama through the NHIF, High Blood Pressure among others,” she said.
During the meeting, Timaflor CEO Simon Van Der Burg congratulated Beyond Zero for its innovative model of delivering healthcare to vulnerable populations in the country.
“We have been keenly following Beyond Zero’s activities and we appreciate the work being done by the First Lady. We also try to help communities and we thank you for coming to offer medical services to our farm workers,” Mr Van Der Burg said.
At the three-day medical camp, over 1,400 flower farmworkers and their families will be screened for various ailments and offered treatment.
The workers will be screened for, among other ailments, cervical and breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, diabetes. They will also be enlisted for the Linda Mama maternal healthcare programme through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Mr Van Der Burg said medical screening of farm workers is not only important for their wellbeing but also good for the growth of the horticultural sector in the country.
“It is good for you to do medical screening of our farm workers, and this will help in detecting any health challenges affecting them and where possible offer them medical services or refer them to the right medical facility for proper attention,” the CEO said.
Speaking after medical attention, Ms Nicoreta Wamuyu Gichuki, a worker at the flower farm, thanked First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for the medical camp.
“I came to the clinic today, to know my status on cervical cancer so that I may be able to detect early and seek medical treatment in good time.
“We know cancer is not a death sentence and if detected early it can be treated and healed. We thank the First Lady for this service and may God bless her,” she said.
Beyond Zero Technical Advisor Jane Kiragu, Timaflor General Manager Thomas Frandsen, and Administration and Human Resource Manager Judy Ndai were also present at the launch of the medical camp.