June 2019

Following numerous road accidents along our roads, a group of Thika residents on Saturday took to the road and bus termini along the Thika superhighway and within Thika town to raise awareness on road safety issues and to promote self-regulation among drivers.

The private initiative dubbed “KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING & I SUPPORT SAFE DRIVING” was necessitated by the realisation that majority of the road accidents were caused by human error on the part of the drivers especially when they ignored basic traffic rules.

“We realised that most of these accidents are caused by our own mistakes as drivers and if each one of us took individual responsibilities on our actions on the road, we can drastically reduce road carnage in the country. It’s a small gesture but it can help,” explained Fredrick Giturwa alias KINYAMBI 1960, one of the brainchild of this initiative.

“There is so much anger on our roads especially along Thika road when other road users break simple rules that affect others. One of the basic rules on the roads in Kenya is to always KEEP LEFT unless one is overtaking but you find most motorists ignore this rule, causing obstruction,” added Kinyambi.

He explained that  that was the reason they were pasting KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING stickers on the rear side of the vehicles so as to keep reminding the driver behind of their responsibility to maintain their lanes.

On his part, James Ng’ang’a who is popularly known on social media circles as JAYMO WA THIKA acknowledged the need for all players on the roads to play their part regardless of whether there was a police officer or not.

“There is a tendency of Kenyan road users to adhere to traffic rules only when there is a police officer on sight. It is as though they are doing it for the law enforcement and not for their own safety. As much as we keep blaming the police for everything bad happening on the road, the buck stops at us,” said Jaymo Wa Thika.

Jaymo added that if all of road users behaved well on the road, the police would have no choice but to follow suit as this would reduce their chances of demanding for bribes.

“Corruption and bribery on the roads thrive because of the disorder among the players. If we all adhered to every traffic rule in the books, it will be very hard for an officer to demand for a bribe. That’s the order of the day in developed countries and even our Rwandan neighbours which is the reason there are very few accidents as compared to Kenya where the rule of the jungle and bullying on the roads has become the norm,” he added.

Thika Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Branch Secretary Mungai Ngige said that, just as in the spirit of community policing, time was ripe for every Kenya to take personal responsibilities for their actions or inaction.

The exercise was a joint initiative by online platforms Road Traffic 411 and Thika Town Today and supported by various well-wishers who included Belasi Developers and IQ Retail with the blessings of NTSA.

Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga at Huduma Centre Thika during the official launch of the RRI birth certificates drive aimed at clearing the backlog in the County.
Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga ha officially launched a one month Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) that will give residents an opportunity to obtain birth certificates.

In a colourful ceremony at the Huduma Centre Thika, Wanyanga said that the county currently had a backlog of about 30,000 uncleared birth certificates and the drive would fast track processing of the document.

“This drive will help weed out brokers who have been coning unsuspecting members of public. We will ensure that we have enough staff and equipment to process the document and that by August 1, we expect to have attained 100% registration,” he said.

He called on chiefs and their assistants to conduct mass sensitisation to ensure those have not registered do so.

Thika region, which serves Juja, Ruiru, Thika town, Kandara and Gatanga in Murang’a County and parts of Machakos County, have about 10,000 unprocessed applications.

Area Civil Registrar Mary Muriuki said that they currently had a 12-member staff but acknowledged having received 50 booklets able to process 5,000 birth certificates.

She however assured residents that they would manage to clear the backlog once they received their second consignment.

She also raised concern over 5,000 uncollected birth certificates saying they are working with national government coordinators to ensure their owners get them.

Sanofi in partnership with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Kenya Diabetes Study Group and Diabetes Kenya have today launched a Nationwide diabetes management training programme for General Practitioners

The online training programme, which is fully sponsored by Sanofi, is a first in Kenya. The three-month training program aims to build capacity for over 2,000 General practitioners offering clinical services to diabetes patients.

The Doctors who sign up for the programme will access the training through the IDF School of Diabetes digital platform from a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. The curriculum which is internationally and locally accredited, offers an in-depth introduction to diabetes, covering all aspects of diagnosis and management while providing the latest evidence-based knowledge - to inform clinical practice. Health professionals who complete the course will receive an official certificate and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points.

According to the Kenya Medical Board, there are about 7,000 actively practicing health professionals in Kenya. However, there are about 12 endocrinologists who specialize in diabetes management. This shows that most people seek diabetes care from general practitioners who may benefit from additional upskilling in diabetes management. According to the IDF, there are approximately 460,000 people living with diabetes in Kenya, and estimates indicate that this total is set to rise to over 1.3 million people within a generation.

There is an intrinsic need to build capacity on diabetes management among the general practitioners in Kenya. Thus, training is essential to support early diagnosis and effective treatment of people living with diabetes. We are confident that this training, supported by our partners and fully supported by Sanofi, will enable the doctors gain necessary skills in tackling diabetes locally.” Country Chair Kenya and General Manager Sanofi East Africa Hub Peter Munyasi.
A competent patient caregiver is paramount to success in patient management. Diabetes care is dynamic and this high standard in depth innovative training will empower doctors across the counties for improvement of patient outcomes”, Dr. Kirtida Acharya, Chairperson Diabetes Kenya Association.

"The International Diabetes Federation is committed to improving the diabetes knowledge of health professionals through education,” said IDF President Prof. Nam H. Cho. “We are, therefore, delighted to partner with Sanofi, Diabetes Kenya and the Kenya Diabetes Study Group in this project to enhance the knowledge and skills of health professionals on the front line of the diabetes response in Kenya.” 
This training program is in line with the Kenya National NCD Strategy 2015-2020 provision to build the capacity of the health workforce in terms of numbers and skills mix, at all levels, for the prevention and control of NCDs. It is also an adjunct and critical component of UHC, particularly the access to quality services pillar.
To access the training, doctors can enrol through this link https://www.idfdiabeteschool.org/COC/GP-Ke-training.

Kenya Pharmaceutical Association’s (KPA) national chairmanship position Elias Ndung’u (centre) addressing the press in Thika.
A candidate for next month’s Kenya Pharmaceutical Association’s (KPA) national chairmanship position has accused the current leadership of running a cartel to sideline other players and micromanaging the industry through the introduction of draconian rules into the profession.

In a press conference held in Thika, Elias Ndung’u cited the introduction of a rule by Pharmacy & Poisons Board (PPB) stating that graduate pharmtechs have to wait for 6 years’ to get a license for practice as one which was detrimental to the industry, resulting to the influx of quacks working as pharmacists. 

“Where else in the world does a professional have to wait for 6 years in order to get licensed to work in a field that they already qualify? This is illogical and one that is killing this industry. It is part of the reasons why we have so many quacks operating pharmacies and it is only meant to allow the incumbents continue micromanaging the sector for individual selfish gains,” said Ndung’u.

He added that it was unfortunate that this was being propagated despite the fact Kenya was struggling to meet the World Health Organisation’s recommended pharmacist per population ratio.

“Currently, Kenya has barely 20,000 registered pharmacists against a population of almost 50 million people and instead of the current leadership thinking of how they can improve these statistics, they are the ones making it harder to operate in the industry,” he said.

No amendments, no elections.

Ndung’u warned that the practicing pharmacists will not allow any elections to take place if at all the playing field will not be level.

“To begin with, the choice of venue is a clear indication that the incumbents want to alienate possible competition. How do you expect members from say Turkana or Garissa to travel all the way to Mombasa for the exercise? Furthermore, the choice of the hotel is calculated to put off majority of members who cannot afford to raise the amount needed to be accommodated in such a 5-star hotel,” he noted.

The KPA elections have been scheduled for the 18th to 20th of July 2019 at Prideinn Hotel Mombasa.
Ndung’u suggested that since health was a devolved function, the association should follow suit and devolve its functions including its own elections.

Mount Kenya University Council Member, Consolata Kiragu hands over a dummy key to Senior Thika Level 5 Hospital staff during the handing over of a Kshs 5 million Ablution block to the hospital.
The number of people afflicted with cancer has regrettably risen in Thika, Thika Level Five hospital superintendent Dr Patrick Nyaga has warned.
Nyaga says that many people living in Thika community have been suffering in silence while many others who have not gone for screening could know about their fate late when the disease has ravaged them.
Calling Thika community to attention that the fatal disease has come and urgent interventions ought to have been performed, the doctor said that cancer is only likely to get to many who are unscreened in the coming years.
He said that lack of a cancer centre at the facility could be blamed for late screening of many people in Thika.
Speaking during a ceremony where Mt Kenya University handed over Sh 5 million worth of an ablution block to the hospital, Nyaga said that the institution has been referring patients to Nairobi before they are further referred to India for treatment and care.
To ease the cost burden of many patients living with the disease, Nyaga unveiled plans by Thika Community to set up a Thika Cancer Care Centre with a diagnostic wing and information department by the close of this year.
Consequently, the hospital has organized an awareness twenty-one-kilometer marathon on August 11 which is expected to raise between Sh 15-20 million for the ambitious project.
“We are saying this cannot continue. We are asking people to live a healthy lifestyle, exercise, look at their diet and participate in helping those who are affected by contributing the little they have to set up Thika Cancer Care Centre,” he said.
He called on all Thika citizens to collaboratively stand up and be counted in the war against cancer. “It affects us all both directly and indirectly,” he said.
The marathon, according to Nyaga will be shared into three, a five-kilometer family walk, ten-kilometer fitness and the twenty-one-kilometer competition.
A huge camp set at Thika stadium and Thika Level Hospital to screen people for cancer and raise awareness about the deadly disease in the country.
“The centre will be for anybody walking from the street. People will get screened and attached to care centres existing in the country. We however have a future plan of setting up a treatment centre so that those screened do not have to go out,” he said.
Dr Josephat Njuguna, the principle college of health science at MKU lauded the 10-year-long relationship between the varsity and the facility.
Njuguna said the university will gladly partner with the hospital in its endeavors to bring awareness on cancer issues
He said that MKU will continue to partner with the hospital for better health care to the community adding that the university will soon set up a cold room at a cos of Sh 5 million to preserve bodies at General Kago funeral home which the university constructed a few years ago at a cost of Sh 300 million.
“We are enjoying this relationship and we hope it will continue growing to ensure we have enough staff to take care of our health. We will also partner with the hospital to raise awareness on cancer issues,” he said.
According to new global cancer data, the cancer burden has globally risen to 18.1 million cases. Last year alone according to World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 9.6 million cancer deaths were recorded globally.
WHO suggests that one in five men and one in six women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in eight men and one in 11 women die from the disease with population growth, ageing, late detection and screening cited as major factors behind it.

Kiambu County Government has opened a 5-days free orthopedic camp at Thika and Kiambu Level 5 Hospitals.

The medical camp, that is in partnership with Mount Kenya University (MKU), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Kenyatta University doctors, will run from 10th of June to 14th with the first 3 days at Thika Level 5 Hospital and the last and 2 days at Kiambu hospital.

My government has sponsored the purchase of implants for the free orthopaedic medical camp to the tune of Ksh 6 million. I thank Beta Charitable Trust - UK and CHEPS Kenya who have donated 30 pairs of crutches for use by the surgery beneficiaries,” said Governor Ferdinand Waititu during the official launch of the exercise.

The medical camp will benefit 55 needy patients, most of whom are victims of road accidents with bodaboda operators constituting the largest percentage.

Such operations require implants which cost between Sh 30,000- Sh 50,000, something that has made so many of them stay in hospital for quite a long time for being unable to raise the money.

Waititu urged residents to register for NHIF as this will ease the burden on families and help hospitals offer better services to victims.

He further revealed plans by the county to open a private wing at the upper floor of Thika’s reproductive health unit.

“We want to use money paid by patients at the private wing to sustain our hospitals operations as well as helping the poor who access services in our hospital,” he added.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has called on Kenyans to intensify tree planting across the country to restore the fragile ecosystem destroyed over the years.
Speaking at Ruiru Dam in Kiambu County today during this year’s Bamboo Planting Day, the First Lady said the erratic weather the country has been experiencing in recent years is a consequence of unchecked deforestation which has significantly depleted national forest cover without reciprocal efforts towards conservation.
“The extreme weather we experienced is attributable to climate change and the consequences of our actions. The dry weather we experienced for many months affected us all, we suffered famine, we lost lives, we lost our harvest,” the First Lady said.
She said forests support human life in different ways including contributing to food security, has medicinal value, and are sources of wood energy for millions of Kenyans among other uses.
The First Lady called on Kenyans not to tire in correcting the environmental havoc we have collectively caused to the country but continue cultivating the culture of continuous conservation.
“I encourage us not to tire correcting the damage we, in our different actions, have done to the environment. I urge us to continue embracing conservation values and become better advocates and champions of the management of our precious forests and water catchment areas,” she said
During his Madaraka Day address to the Nation from Narok County, President Uhuru Kenyatta also challenged Kenyans to plant trees in their homes and neighbourhoods to help transform our environment through “a tree at a time”.
The President announced that the government has rolled out the “Greening Kenya Initiative” that will ensure the country’s tree cover soars to the globally recommended 10 per cent by 2022.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta called for strong policies backed up by practical and sustainable interventions that create a meaningful impact on our environmental conservation initiatives that are structured to benefit both communities and households.
This year’s Bamboo Planting event was a collaborative initiative between the Ministry of Environment, the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) under whose management the Ruiru dam falls, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Bidco Africa.
Ruiru Dam is one of the oldest water reservoirs for Nairobi, constructed by the colonial government almost 90 years ago to supplement Kikuyu springs.
The evergreen and fast maturing Bamboo tree species were chosen deliberately for their many environmental benefits especially their water retention and restoration capacity.
The First Lady applauded Bidco Africa and its partners for the initiative saying the private sector has potential to become a key contributor to the restoration of ecosystems and reversal of human actions that continue to negatively impact the environment.
She said for environmental interventions and restoration processes to be successful, local communities must be allowed to participate fully.
“As a passionate conservationist, it inspires me to see communities, women, men and children, participate in conservation practices that they will benefit from and be positively impacted," the First Lady said.

Mount Kenya University has awarded top performers from Muranga County during Muranga County Education day that was held at Muranga Teachers College. MKU awarded the following areas:
  1. POYA 2018 (Principal of the Year Award)
  2. TOYA 2018 (Teacher of the Year Award)
  3. iTOYA 2018 (Innovative Teacher of the Year Award)
  4. VAP- Most Improved Student 2018

The Principal Gaichanjiru High School, Mr. Mbothu was awarded POYA( Principal Of The Year Award 2019) while Most improved Student award was grabbed by Kamau Josphat Mwangi of Mioro Secondary School; Mr. Kamau also dubbed as the nationally most improved students in 2018.

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