New dispensaries offer relief to residents as number of patients surge

Two new dispensaries which were launched few months ago by Governor Anne Waiguru in Kirinyaga County, have recorded a surging number of patients seeking medical services.

The two facilities, Matandara in Mwea and Riakithiga in Gichugu constituency respectively have served close to 17,000 people just a less than four months after opening.

The facilities have provided major relief to residents who had to walk for kilometres to get health services.

Matandara dispensary which was opened in May has so far received about 10,000 patients in the first four months of operation while Riakithiga has served over 6500 patients since July when it was opened.

The facilities are part of 19 dispensary completed by the county government in an accelerated program that involves equipping and operationalization of the projects.

Residents have expressed joy that they can now access affordable healthcare services in a more efficient manner and in a convenient location.

Governor Waiguru says that with a strong primary healthcare at the dispensaries, there will be less congestion at higher-level health institutions, allowing level four and five hospitals to deal with more complex health issues more efficiently.

She also stated that her administration has made significant investments in the construction of different health facilities in order to attain universal health coverage.

The Council of Governors (CoG) chair pointed out that towards the achievement of universal health coverage, her administration has invested heavily in infrastructural development of health facilities among them the newly opened Kerugoya Level Five Hospital Medical Complex and the upgrading of Kianyaga and Kimbimbi to level four hospitals.

Margaret Nyambura, a nurse at Matandara Dispensary, says that on average about 90 patients are served by the facility every day.

Nyambura said that since the opening of the facility, there has been an upsurge on number of people seeking medication to control diabetes and hypertension illnesses.

“We are able to detect ailments that were previously not highly detected due to congestion and the high number of people flocking in the hospital,” Nyambura said.

Reuben Mugera, a resident of Matandara and a beneficiary of this project has been ecstatic since the dispensary opened. Before the operationalization of the facility, Mugera says he would spend Ksh. 200 to travel all the way to Kimbimbi Hospital which are about 4.1 kilometers away to get medical services.

Due to the distance and the huge number of patients seeking treatment at Kimbimbi hospital he would at time opt to seek services at private hospitals.

Mugera says apart from treatment, the new dispensary has created employment for young medics. He says that residents are excited to have access to healthcare services in a more efficient manner and in a convenient location.

Same story of joy is replicated at Riakithiga dispensary located at Kabare Ward, in Gichugu Constituency.

The level 2 facility has also seen a steady flow of patients since its doors were opened.

Beth Karuana Njiiri, a laboratory technician says the facility has saved the beneficiaries from traveling long distances and using more money in search of medical tests services.

Karuana the laboratory is helping clinician at the dispensary offer early detection of ailments for timely treatment.

The technician said that previously residents would seek laboratory services at private facilities at a very high cost.

Joseph Kamau, a resident of Riakithiga village says that opening of the laboratory has not only reduced travel expenses but has also helped improved healthcare services because of time taken to diagnose ailments.

“Initially, I would spend Ksh 200 on travel to Kerugoya or Kianyag hospital for comprehensive medical services, which are 11 and 13 kilometers away respectively. We are grateful that we are being examined and treated here,” he said.

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