More than 1,000 residents and visitors who attended the 130th edition of the Lamu Maulid Festival, which ran for four days until Saturday, benefitted from free medical camps funded by various organisations.
Maulid Festival is an annual event marked by a section of Muslims in remembrance of the birth of prophet Mohamed (S.A.W) in the holy city of Mecca in 570AD.
Diversity Foundation from Turkey brought their own doctors and specialists and was the leading organisation in offering the medical services, which included free check-ups, medicine and medical advice.
The doctors tested patients for tuberculosis, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, dental and eye problems.
More than 300 boys were circumcised by the Turkish doctors.
Mr Mohamed Ali, who is among the organisers of the medical camps, said that this year many locals, guests and even tourists sought treatment and medical advice.
Mr Ali said the medical camps were of great help especially for those who could not afford medical care and even those who cannot access medical facilities and institutions due to lack of funds and other hindrances.
“We thank all those who turned up for check-ups and treatment during the free Maulid medical camps. We were able to attend to over 1,000 clients. Thanks to the Turkish doctors and specialists who helped us in conducting the check-ups and treatment. There was also a programme dabbed Digital Circumcision by the Diversity Foundation also from Turkey, which saw over 300 young men circumcised within the four days of Maulid,” said Mr Ali.
Residents who talked to the Nation on Sunday thanked the festival organisers for ensuring medical camps during the event.
“We received treatment at no charge from international doctors and specialists. Some of us can’t afford to hire a boat to take us to hospital leave alone paying the medical bills. Such camps came in handy for us and we’re glad they’ve been of great help to many of us,” said Mr Athman Chonda.
Meanwhile, tourism stakeholders in the county have expressed confidence that tourism in Lamu will greatly improve this December.
Lamu’s tourism declined following terror threats by Al-Shabaab militants that have seen hundreds of residents killed from 2014 to date.
The stakeholders told the Nation they were impressed by the high number of domestic and foreign tourists who attended the Maulid Festival.
They said the high number of guests who attended the event is a sign that many tourists have gained confidence in touring Lamu.
Ghalib Alwy, the former deputy chairman of the Lamu County Tourism Association, said they have begun receiving bookings from international tourists, especially from Germany and Italy.
“We have seen so many guests who attended this year’s Maulid Festival compared to previous years and this is an indication that people are now confident with the Lamu security. The tourism sector has shown great improvement. We have already received bookings in hotels. I am confident the December season will have a boom in the tourism industry,” said Mr Alwy.