Safaricom foundation has opened Children’s diabetes management center at Garissa referral hospital that will serve four counties.
The clinic was constructed and equipped by the communications giant that also furnished modern equipment for diabetes detection and management.
The foundation invested Sh12 million in constructing and equipping the clinic as part of its Children with Diabetes programme launched in 2019, the center will provide services to residents of Garissa, Kitui, Tana River, Isiolo and Wajir Counties.
Barrrack Odero Trustee Safaricom foundation said the program aims to support the management of diabetes among children and youth under 21 years.
“We have so far invested over Sh42million in this three-year programme and there are several achievements we have seen as we complete our second year of implementation,” he said in a function attended by the foundation Chairman Joseph Ogutu and Garissa Governor Ali Korane.
He said have screened over 2,000 children and young adults for blood sugar with 429 of them testing positive for diabetes, the programme has reached over 50,000 community members in all the 7 sub-counties of Garissa.
The children he said have been enrolled in the children with Diabetes programme where they are receiving free medication including insulin and syringes.
The 3-year Children with Diabetes programme is being implemented in partnership with the County Government of Garissa and Pastoralists Girls Initiative (PGI). The program aimed at addressing early detection, comprehensive care and health care system strengthening as well setting up model child-friendly diabetes clinics.
Garissa Governor Ali Korane while appreciating Safaricom foundation for investing in the county also called on the county health workers to make awareness amongst the public for screening, noting that early detection helps in managing the disease.
He said the statistic of diabetes in the county is not encouraging adding that there is a need for investment in research of this ailment.
“We appreciate this gesture by Safaricom, we will make it into proper use, we believe this will have a positive impact on our communities,” he said.
The World Health Organization estimates that 26 per cent of bed occupancy in hospitals in Kenya consists of diabetic patients while 50 per cent of kidney patients are found to be suffering from diabetes.
An estimated 478,000 Kenyans are living with diabetes 60 per cent of whom are unaware while it is estimated that the number of children living with diabetes is increasing at a rate of 3.5 per cent annually.