TO SERVE THEM BETTER

Kandara residents want busy Gacharage dispensary upgraded

Women forced to travel farther for maternity services at the subcounty hospital

In Summary

• Gacharage dispensary serves over 70 patients in a day despite having a few health workers. 

• Residents said due to the high number of patients that visit the facility, they are forced to wait in line for long. 

Patients wait to be served at Gacharage dispensary in Kandara, Murang'a county on Saturday.
Patients wait to be served at Gacharage dispensary in Kandara, Murang'a county on Saturday.
Image: Alice Waithera

Residents of Gacharage village in Kandara subcounty of Murang’a want a dispensary in the area upgraded to a health centre to serve them better. 

Gacharage dispensary serves over 70 patients in a day despite having a few health workers. 

Residents said due to the high number of patients that visit the facility, they are forced to wait in line for long. 

David Mwangi said the dispensary has a huge catchment area and should be expanded to a health centre, complete with a maternity department.

“This is the only facility we have here as the only other hospital available is the subcounty hospital in Kandara,” Mwangi said.

He asked the county government to set aside funds to renovate the dispensary and upgrade a footpath leading to the centre from the Kandara-Githumu road.

Mwangi said the facility can serve more people if equipped with workers and better equipment.

Anthony Ndura underscored the need for the county government to renovate the dispensary and install more equipment.

Margaret Muthami said women from the area are forced to travel a long distance to access the subcounty hospital.

“We would be very happy if the dispensary had more workers because the current ones are overworked. An ambulance to transfer patients from the dispensary to other facilities would also come in handy,” she added.

Nurse Lilian Wangui said most of the patients that visit the facility suffer from flu and lifestyle diseases.

Diarrhoea cases have reduced with the high hygiene standards imposed for Covid-19 prevention, she said.

“I have a good committee that we work together with to make the dispensary better,” she said.

The committee has also partnered with well-wishers such as Friends of Gacharage Dispensary to connect all departments of the facility with running water.

The dispensary is along a busy road which is why it experiences high numbers of patients. Those requiring more specialised health services are referred to the subcounty hospital, she said.

“We have taken it upon ourselves to start sensitising people on the need to observe a balanced diet and manage their weight to evade some diseases and help those already sick to manage them in order to reduce the number of patients,” she said.

Raphael Kiome, the dispensary's committee chairman, said the facility has a list of things that need to be upgraded.

“We can’t heave all the responsibility on the government. We have to do our part. The dispensary needs a separate ablution block for health workers, better furniture and the establishment of a maternity department,” he said.

Kiome said though it is the responsibility of the county government to upgrade the dispensary, residents have a role to chip in and support where they can.

 

(edited by o. owino)