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By Eric Omwombo 

An MPESA foundation pitched a healthcare camp targeting malaria and other ailments at Siaya KMTC grounds.

Hundreds of Siaya residents who heard the message about the camp through the radio and barazas thronged the venue of the event(KMTC)grounds to get screened, diagnosed and given drugs.

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The health initiative is funded by the M-Pesa Foundation in partnership with counties.
“Under the initiative, Siaya residents have benefitted from free medical camps which entailed the provision of health information, provision of medical equipment and drugs for general healthcare.

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Others were screening of select non-communicable diseases, dental care, eye care and management of diabetes and the first medical camp took place.

The M-Pesa Foundation has spent resources on the acquisition of drugs and surgical equipment to support the provision of healthcare.

Safaricom Foundation chairman Joseph Ogutu said the programme complements other landmark initiatives that the foundation has rolled out in collaboration with counties to address healthcare challenges.

“The initiative is not only addressing the negative challenges at the grassroots but also boosting chances of securing more clients,” said Ogutu.

“The medical camps are, therefore, an avenue to ensure better healthcare outcomes for local communities. It is also a way of complementing the government’s efforts to provide quality healthcare to all,” he said.

Some of the flagship health projects under the M-Pesa Foundation include the Daktari Smart, which is a telemedicine project.

Daktari Smart provides specialist care to Kenyans who are in hard-to-reach and underserved areas in Lamu, Homa Bay, Baringo, Samburu and other counties.

The foundation also has a reproductive health programme known as Uzazi Salama.

Under the Uzazi Salama programme, we have ensured that every woman delivering in the hospital gets a baby pack.

In fact, today we have 50 baby packs that have benefitted women who gave birth on Friday and Saturday.

The initiative is aimed at eradicating maternal deaths which were the norm in counties, especially the Nyanza region.

The M-Pesa Foundation in conjunction with Flying Doctors is equally running an active fistula programme in which at least 400 women have received surgery and treatment since 2021.

We have not heard of any fistula camp here in Siaya but we have decided to explore the region with the malaria camp, other healthcare camps targeting other ailments including fistula will follow.

Safaricom Foundation is set to launch “Ndoto that seeks to empower locals economically,” said the Chairman.

He added that the programme will be launched in June and every person seeking the funds will be given through approval of the proposal.
“We are going to empower communities through loans,” said Ogutu.

Governor James Orengo lauded the healthcare initiative driven by the Mpesa Foundation.
“The initiative driven by Safaricom will boost healthcare service,” said Orengo.

Orengo said as part of its health agenda, the county government is committed to improving the general access to healthcare, and utilisation of health services.

“Siaya is doing badly in terms of certain health indicators. Malaria, TB, and HIV are leading though comprehensive strategies have been put in place to reduce it.
In fact, we are happy that the PMTCT prevalence has reduced from 8.3 per cent in 2014 to 4.3 per cent in 2024.
Orengo said there are certain developments that we shall seek a memorandum of understanding with Safaricom Foundation to help us do.

“Orengo said that other area of partnership includes a school feeding program for ECD and, the building of Siaya Referral Hospital among others.

He lauded the call centre created by Safaricom that would see any pregnant woman get a taxi upon making a phone call that would take them to the hospital.

The initiative will be key in dealing with maternal deaths.

Orengo further asked Safaricom to help the county put up rescue centres that will host victims of rape and defilement.

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