Nyeri County has spelt a raft of measures aimed at combating the prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) that have been associated with two thirds of all deaths in the area.
The Deputy Governor, Caroline Karugu said the grim statistics that indicate that two out of three deaths are directly linked to NCDs called for drastic measures to be taken to reverse the trend.
Karugu said the county was experiencing a shift from communicable infectious diseases to chronic diseases, presenting a double burden that called for increased investments in prevention and treatment.
Speaking on Thursday during the second universal health coverage conference held in Nyeri, the Deputy Governor said the government had embarked on robust community health program that will focus more on preventive healthcare.
She said the government had already initiated monthly medial camps that are not necessarily for curative purposes, but to sensitize people on the need to adopt healthy lifestyles.
The rapid rise in incidences of NCDs in the last two decades globally has been attributed to exposure to main risk factors, including unhealthy diets and physical inactivity.
According to county health officials, Nyeri is among the leading counties in hypertension and diabetes prevalence in the country. It is on this basis that the county has been chosen as one of the pilot counties for the launch of Universal Health Care coverage.
Ms. Karugu said the government had equipped its over 2,500 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) with blood pressure testing devices and glocometers for blood sugar testing.
Despite screening and awareness creation, Ms. Karugu said the CHVs who will be deployed in villages, will also be charged with the responsibility of treating minor ailments at household level.
She continued that CHVs will also play the lead role in championing for healthy living though proper nutrition and healthy eating.
We want to make CHVs the de facto nutritionists, said the deputy governor, adding that women would be their main target with these messages given their role in nurturing families.
We believe that if a woman changes practice of how she feeds her family, we will begin to inspire culture change in nutrition, said the Deputy Governor.
Source: Kenya News Agency