IMPROVING HEALTH

NGO enlists needy Kilifi elders for free medical care

Over 150 elderly persons receive free drugs and medical check-ups

In Summary

• Most of them have been suffering from diseases like diabetes, cough and sore throats, stomach disorders and arthritis.

• He urged the government through its social protection programme to register the elderly in the NHIF cover.

Clinical officers attending to elderly people during a medical camp in Vitengeni, Ganze subcounty on June 15
Clinical officers attending to elderly people during a medical camp in Vitengeni, Ganze subcounty on June 15
Image: ELIAS YAA

In their sunset years, most of the elderly persons in Kilifi have experienced poor health and suffering due to their advanced age.

Most of them have been suffering from diseases like diabetes, cough and sore throats, stomach disorders and arthritis.

In a bid to address these challenges, an organisation has come up with a programme to offer the elderly free medical services.

Khairat Medical Foundation has registered 150 elderly persons in their programme, where they receive free drugs and medical check-ups.

The programme is dubbed 'Khairat Elderly Medical Scheme.

Some of the beneficiaries who spoke during the medical camp at Mrima Wa Ndege in Ganze constituency said the organisation has rescued them from a lot of suffering for many years.

Kalume Thoya, one of the beneficiaries said the scheme has helped him access treatment free of charge.

"I have been experiencing chest pains for many years until I heard about this organisation. Today I have received drugs free of charge. I am very happy because these medicines will help me," he said.

Dama Kombe, another beneficiary also said the scheme has helped her deal with her persistent stomach upsets and chest pains for more than ten years.

"Sometimes, I would go to the hospital but found no drugs but I am happy that Khairat came and today I received free drugs," she said.

Khairat Hospital CEO Mohamed Mahfoodh said they were touched by the plight of the many elders in Kilifi who could not access proper healthcare.

"We discovered that most of the elderly aged 70 years and above would come for medical services at our hospital in Kilifi looking lonely and dejected. Most of them had no cash to pay for services," Mahfoodh said.

"That is when we realised there was a problem and through our foundation, we started looking for ways of assisting them. Many were suffering in the villages without proper medical care." 

He urged the government through its social protection programme to register the elderly in the NHIF cover.

"We are also overwhelmed because the numbers keep increasing. That is why we are asking the government to consider them under the NHIF cover," he said.

Khairat's operations manager Abubakar Mohamed said the programme started three years ago with a monthly budget of Sh250, 000 to Sh300, 000 but it has increased to more than Sh500,000 due to the high cost of drugs.

"We urged the county, national government, donors and well-wishers to support us in providing these elders better healthcare," he said.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

“WATCH: The latest videos from the Star”