A medical doctor aspiring to become the next Member of Parliament for Tetu constituency, Nyeri county, plans to make sure the constituency has some petrol stations as well as at least one branch of commercial financial institution, both of which the constituency has none.
The medic cum aspiring politician, Lucy Wanjiru also noted that Tetu is also the only constituency in Nyeri county that does not have a level four hospital and one needs to be set up.
In the meantime, as an immediate stop-gap measure, Wanjiru, who will be running on a Jubilee ticket has volunteered to pay NHIF premiums for 1,500 needy families the constituency for a year, besides organizing for free medical camps across the constituency.
She said the beneficiaries will be drawn from each of the three wards in the constituency: Wamagana, Aguthi-Gaaki and Dedan Kimathi, with 500 families benefiting from each ward.
Wanjiru, who is the vice president of Diaspora for Change Movement and the Africa representative for the organisation said she will work in collaboration with chiefs and their assistants to identify the very needy families who cannot afford the monthly premiums.
Speaking to farmers from Thiriku Coffee Growers Co-operative Society during their Special General Meeting at the society’s headquarters in Tetu, Wanjiru said she will be paying for the cards from her personal savings.
However, if elected MP, she said, she will, through parliament, push for the lowering of the NHIF premiums for volunteers from the current Sh. 500 to Sh. 200 so that more low-income earners can afford.
She has also planned for residents to benefit from free medical camps where illnesses will be diagnosed, treated and medicine provided.
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine will also be available during the free medical camps and patients will be used to test residents for free, a service that costs up to Sh. 50,000
“I will ensure those who get referrals seek treatment in those particular referral hospitals for free,” she said. “Those who will be diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension will also be supplied with free drugs through the offices of chiefs and their assistants,” she added.
However, the medic did not explain how the medical camps and NHIF programmes will be managed in case she does not clinch the parliamentary seat.
In her concern for the youth, Wanjiru is in talks with her friends in the Diaspora to sponsor 300 youths, from the three wards to go and study in the USA under full sponsorship, as the friends will cover all expenses.
The aspirant says her diaspora friends are willing to invest in the petrol station business in the constituency, as well as assist the local people to form a Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO).
“You know in Tetu we do not have even a single commercial bank branch or even a SACCO and so they have agreed to invest here,” she said.
“Ten stakeholders from each of the wards will be travelling to the US for discussion on the Sacco’s formation,” she said.