British, Kenyan soldiers in joint medical exercise
The British Army Medical personnel in conjunction with the Kenya Defence Medical Service held the annual Health Outreach Clinic exercise in Meru, Isiolo, Samburu and Laikipia Counties. The exercise was held in 11 locations within the four counties with over 4000 locals treated for various ailments.
The exercise, dubbed “EX-Askari Serpent” focuses on supporting the Kenyan Ministry of Health in delivering healthcare and education to some of the most remote areas of Kenya. At the camps were over 150 personnel from 3 Medic Regiment, comprising a mix of different trades and ranks, and made up of both Regulars and Reserves.
Speaking at a camp in Solio Settlement Scheme in Laikipia County, Royal Army Medical Corps Lt. Colonel Adrian Meredith said the aim of the annual exercise is to provide medical services to residents who do not have access to permanent healthcare facilities.
We managed to offer treatment to about 500 patients drawn from the vast Solio Settlement Scheme, with majority of them suffering from flu, diarrhoea, malaria, amoeba, chest infections, abdominal and back pains
Col. Meredith added that they will partner with the Kenya government to educate the public on occupational and environmental hazards that result to chronic diseases. Similar ailments were documented in the four counties and these were largely attributed to occupational and environmental hazards.
KDF's Captain Eric Muriithi said;
Many vulnerable people at the grassroots have received free treatment. I have learnt a lot through this partnership and I will spread the knowledge to my unit.
A local resident, Margaret Wairimu, praised the medical camp and the quality of the services offered by the medical troops pointing out that the local health centre has few qualified doctors, insufficient drugs and equipment.
The Health Outreach Clinics are delivered in 4 Counties, in locations where local communities have limited or no access to permanent medical facilities. On average the Army medical personnel conduct 4 clinics per location with each clinic lasting for 3 days. All the clinics are partnered with the Kenyan Defence Force Medical Services, NGO's including PS Kenya, Local Community Healthcare Workers, Local Community Healthcare Volunteers and the Kenya Red Cross. Over the last 4 exercises (2 years) over 12,436 patients have been seen.
Present included Brig. Duncan Francis, the Defence Adviser at the British High Commission-Nairobi, KDF Medical Services team leader Major Omondi, Director of Health Services, Laikipia County and officials from the Kenyan partner organisations including Kenya Red Cross, Population Services Kenya, The Beyond Zero campaign initiative from Laikipia County and local Community Health volunteers