Governor Kihika Outlines Comprehensive Approach To Healthcare Challenges

In a bid to address the various health challenges affecting the region, the County Government of Nakuru is investing heavily in the completion and operationalization of all ongoing and stalled projects initiated by previous administrations.

According to Governor Susan Kihika, the exchequer stands to lose billions of shillings if the projects were not completed, as well as compromised public health services due to inadequate healthcare infrastructure.

Top on the list is the Shs780 million modern outpatient wing at Nakuru Teaching and Referral Hospital, Shs331 million Naivasha outpatient complex, Langalanga, Gilgil, Molo, Mai Mahiu, and Elburgon Sub-County hospitals, and other health facilities across the County.

In her State of the County Address, the Governor said her administration would also focus more on preventative and promotive health services to reduce communicable and non-communicable diseases, maternal and child healthcare challenges.

“Although the health department continues to consume over 40% of the county budget, it is in everyone’s interest to have a robust and self-sustaining health sector, since our health is our wealth,” she noted, promising and incremental budgetary allocation.

Despite a huge influx of patients from neighboring counties and beyond, the Governor said the health facilities had made remarkable progress in the provision of accessible, efficient, affordable, and high-quality services.

The Governor attributed the successes to a number of deliberate efforts implemented by her administration, such as a motivated workforce that she said had been achieved through promotions, training, and engagement of health workers.

“In December 2023, I launched the Community Health Promoters’ program with 3,190 health promoters on a monthly stipend. The number has now grown to 3,306 with an increased monthly stipend of Shs2500,” she reported.

The County, with development partners’ support, has offered varied training to healthcare workers. In addition to the training, Community health promoters will receive a monthly Shs5,000 stipend once the Ministry of Health contributes its share.

Regarding the other categories of health workers, the Governor said her administration had confirmed 187 contractual staff members to permanent and pensionable status. During the same period, the County promoted 662 health professionals to higher job positions.

To ensure an uninterrupted supply of drugs and other health products, the Governor highlighted that her administration had developed a good working relationship with key suppliers like Kenya Medical Supplies Agency.

“I am happy to report that my government procured diverse health products amounting to Shs440.3 million in the FY 2022/23. Higher allocations should be prioritized in the coming budget cycles,” she stated while underscoring the dangers of stock-outs.

To fully and efficiently address the health challenges, the Governor said her administration had reached out to 60 new development partners, other than the USAID and World Vision, to supplement the County’s efforts.

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