The Kenya Port Authority (KPA) has scaled up efforts to empower communities in East African countries through their annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects worth Sh60 million.
KPA head of corporate affairs Bernard Osero added that the CSR programmes are implemented beyond the borders of Kenya, where the agency has a huge presence of key stakeholders.
“When it comes to the CSR investments programme, we deal with the entire East Africa region. Recently we had a programme in Entebbe, Uganda and similar projects in other East Africa countries,” added Osero during a free medical camp in Kaloleni, Kilifi County.
He said KPA has accelerated CSR projects since 2002 when it restructured its Corporate Social Investment Programme with eight percent of the activities being implemented around the Coast region due to proximity and resource constraints.
Osero indicated that KPA is spending millions of shillings to address the needs of communities, particularly in the health and education sectors.
“Our focus is to empower communities by ensuring their health concerns are addressed and education standards improved,” he added.
During the free medical camp, KPA medical practitioners and para medic staff joined hands with their Kilifi county government counterparts to screen a total of 774 patients from the drought stricken Chanagande Sub-location.
Osero indicated that an estimated Sh2 million was utilized for mobilization and logistics, free consultations, laboratory testing, treatment, medicine dispensation and referrals for complicated medical cases.
He further stated that the free treatment was in-line with the KPA Corporate Social Investment policy that empowers the community through elaborate community interventions that focus on developing and improving education, health, environment, and sports sectors as well as other areas of national concern.
“To further its ambition on community interventions, the Authority has not only constructed facilities, nurtured talent through sports sponsorship and planting of trees to conserve the environment; but has equally supported health initiatives in the community. This has been through conducting free medical camps in carefully selected needy areas where medical services are hard to access,” he added.
Majority of the beneficiaries during the medical camp were drawn from three Sub-locations, which relied solely on the overwhelmed Chalani Health Centre for medical services.
KPA medical team led by, Dr. Gome Lenga, revealed that the residents were screened for conditions including upper Respiratory Tract Diseases, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Diarrhoea, skin diseases, nutritional deficiency (marasmus, kwashiorkor) and anemia among other ailments.
The medics also found that some patients were suffering from non – communicable diseases including hypertension and diabetes, which require long term treatment, hence referred cases to Mariakani Sub-county hospital.
“It is very risky to start giving them drugs today without assurance that they will be able to procure such drugs continuously. We have advised them to visit the sub county hospital on Monday so that they can be put under the right medication,” added Lenga.
The team also conducted cervical cancer screening among women who turned up for the free medical camp.
“We also referred two elders with inguinal hernias to the sub-county hospitals because the two require operations which we don’t perform during this kind of medical camp,” added Lenga.
He revealed that KPA donated surplus medication to the County Government of Kilifi for distribution in the area dispensaries.
KPA conducts two medical camps in the coast region annually, targeting communities where medical services are hard to access.
This is the second medical camp this financial year after one held in Lamu County.
KPA sponsored full treatment of a cancer patient diagnosed during last financial year’s medical camp held in Taita Taveta.
However, the patient who went through surgeries and specialized treatment in Mombasa succumbed early this year.