A nurse from Turkana County has won an award for service to humanity.
Mr Edward Munene of Loreng’elup Health Centre, received the Jubilee Insurance Samaritan Award for his role in helping residents of Turkana Central get quality health care.
Mr Ndegwa single-handedly runs the centre and is doctor, nurse, midwife, cook and cleaner for the over 3,000 people it serves.
The dispensary is government-owned.
This 26-year-old’s story caught the public eye when it was published in the Daily Nation in September.
Accepting the award from Jubilee Insurance Chief Executive Officer Patrick Tumbo, Mr Ndegwa said it was an honour to be chosen.
“It is difficult to work in such a challenging environment but someone has to do it,” said Mr Ndegwa, who is studying for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Nairobi.
He said the greatest challenge is being away from his wife and son for long periods.
UNCERTAIN OF ANNUAL LEAVE
In a past interview, Mr Ndegwa said he works seven days a week and is uncertain of annual leave.
He opens the dispensary at 7am daily to a long queue of patients. Their complaints run the gamut of sicknesses, meaning he deals with everything from the common cold to helping women give birth.
“I attend to around five deliveries monthly. On the days the work becomes overwhelming, I ask a traditional birth attendant to help out,” he said.
Mr Ndegwa’s unique position does not allow him the luxury of a sick day off.
His story brings to life the sorry state of public health care in Kenya.
“A centre like this should have at least four nurses and a doctor daily,” he said.
He, however can only dream of the day the government sends at least one more health worker to the little clinic that serves more than 11 villages.
A notable past recipient of the Jubilee award is Mose Gift Osinya, who was recognised for his bravery in rescuing his brother Satrine after their mother was killed in a terrorist attack on a church in Likoni in April.