• By Tuesday morning some 400 teachers had been screened.
• At least 20 were found with high blood pressure and high sugar levels.
Principals attending the 44th Kenya Secondary School Heads Association annual conference in Mombasa have been flocking the Mt Kenya University stand for free medical screening.
The university’s College of Health Sciences and School of Nursing have over the years been offering free screening services to the principals as part of corporate social responsibility.
MKU’s Elizabeth Ndung’u said they have been screening for diabetes, hypertension and nutritional assessment for body mass index.
“As a university, we are training doctors, nurses, nutritionists and clinical officers. We are here with our students to show what we are training at the college. We want to help society as part of our CSR,” Ndung’u said.
By Tuesday morning, some 400 teachers had been screened.
At least 20 were found with high blood pressure and high sugar levels.
All of them did not know their status previously.
“Those who have been found with high blood pressure and high sugar levels have been advised to keep visiting our stand throughout the day and the rest of the week so we can monitor them,” Ndung’u said.
After the conference, which ends on Friday, the teachers are advised to visit hospitals near them for further follow-up.
“If there is any hypertension or diabetes, it will be confirmed and medication will be provided,” Ndung’u said.
The danger of high blood pressure is that it has no symptoms.
“This is a non-communicable disease. You get the high blood pressure symptoms quite late at the final stages when it is already complicated,” Ndung’u said.
On Tuesday, Ndung’u said regular screening is important to diagnose the problem early enough to reduce complications and save a lot of money in medication.
High blood pressure can lead to kidney failure which may be deadly.
This year, the university has witnessed more principals visiting the stand.
“It is not conclusive but it could be an indication of the principals caring more about their health status or the campaign to know one’s health status is getting to them."
Principal Victor Omaye of St Paul's Gekano Secondary School in Nyamira said he has been going for screening at the MKU stand for the last three years.
“I like to know my health status in terms of sugar levels. Last year they gave me a credit of good health and apparently I have discovered this year I have done much better than last year because my body mass, my age and different organs are balanced,” said Omaye.
He said for some reasons, people find it difficult to visit hospitals for screening services.
“A strong, healthy body enables us to perform duties effectively. We thank MKU very much for these free services,” said Omaye.
Omaye said some people fear to know the outcome of screening services and so they keep away.
“There is nothing to fear. If a body is ailing it is ailing and the best way is to find out what is ailing it and get medication,” the principal said.