NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 20 -The government has been urged to put in place proper health structures before devolving health activities to the County Governments.
Speaking to Capital FM News, the Executive Director of Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre, Eva Muchemi challenged the government to employ more health practitioners in all Counties.
“Health is a very serious function; we do not have enough structures and personnel down to the counties. We also require a health administration system that is going to work in the Counties,” she noted.
“Until proper structures are put in place, health should be left to the National government. Devolution has been given five years to take place and that time could be used to develop these structures.”
Muchemi noted that even the well structured hospitals in the country, were still facing shortage in personnel, “currently only a few hospitals in the major towns in the country have better health facilities and practitioners.”
She attributed the rising rates of diabetes in the country to bad lifestyle and economic hardships facing the country.
“Diabetes has no cure; it can be managed but all people should get their blood sugar level tested.”
Though government says it is committed to curb the rising cases of diabetes in the country more than 1.6 million people are affected as Central Kenya records highest prevalence at eight percent.
The disease causes 4.8 million deaths per year, which equates to more than 13,000 deaths per day with 370 million people estimated to live with the disease globally.
With the youngest diabetes victim being a four months old child, Muchemi says more should be done. Through her diabetes foundation, she says they have taken certain measures to bring it down.
“We have initiated awareness programmes on the disease because people are largely malnourished when it come to diabetes information.”
“Knowledge is power and Kenyans need to be educated about diabetes.”
She says with government having established a National Diabetes Policy, the disease can now be managed. “This is the second policy in an African country. All practices have to be the same across the country under the policy.”
“The mother of three urged the government to provide free insulin to the victims. “Insulin is as important as ARV for HIV&AIDS victims,” she said.
The right blood sugar levels ranges from 3.5 to 6.3 milligrams per decilitre.
The Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre in partnership with other stakeholders has organised diabetes walk in Nairobi and Mombasa on July 7.
This year’s Diabetes walk aims to raise Sh25 million to fund free insulin for children less than 18 years from underprivileged families.