Garissa County Referral Hospital has officially opened its Children’s Diabetes Management Centre, constructed and equipped by the Safaricom Foundation. The clinic has been furnished with modern equipment for diabetes detection and management and will provide services to residents of Garissa, Kitui, Tana River, Isiolo and Wajir Counties.

The foundation invested Ksh.12 million in constructing and equipping the clinic as part of its Children with Diabetes programme launched in 2019. Children living with diabetes in Ijara, Mbalambala and Daadab Sub-counties in Garissa County under 21 years of age were among the first beneficiaries of a Ksh. 42.5 million umbrella program funded by the Safaricom Foundation.

“Our Diabetes program has reached over 50,000 community members in all the 7 sub-counties of Garissa including over 400 children who now know their diabetes status through our interventions which include regular screening and medical camps”, said Barrak Odero, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation.

The 3-year Children with Diabetes program is being implemented in partnership with the County Government of Garissa and Pastoralists Girls Initiative. The program targets children and youth under the age of 21 years and focuses on addressing early detection, comprehensive care and health care system, strengthening as well as setting up model child-friendly diabetes clinics.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 26% of bed occupancy in hospitals in Kenya consist of diabetic patients while 50% of kidney patients are suffering from diabetes.

An estimated 478,000 Kenyans are living with diabetes, 60% of whom are unaware, while It is estimated that the number of children living with diabetes is increasing at a rate of 3.5% annually.