Kitale health centre to get Sh185m upgrade


Funds have been provided by the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP). [Courtesy]

A health centre in Trans Nzoia County will be upgraded to Level Four hospital at the cost Sh185 million.

The plan will see Tom Mboya health centre located at Tuwan slums provide specialised maternal and paediatric health services, according to health executive Claire Wanyama.

The funds have been provided by the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP), a Sh20 billion ($200 million) programme financed by the World Bank to support capacity building and technical assistance at the county level.

The project will be implemented in two phases. Ms Wanyama said they decided to upgrade the hospital in an effort to improve the health of mothers and their newborn babies as well as child healthcare services in general.

Through the KDSP, the World Bank seeks to strengthen devolution in Kenya through empowering communities and ensuring services are taken closer to the people.

Ms Wanyama said upgrading the health facility is also in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four agenda seeking to improve maternal, neonatal and child health.

"This is part of our plan to decongest Kitale County Referral Hospital. The upgrade will also help us bring health services closer to the people. Our people will now be able to access services that were initially only available in selected health institutions, some of which are far away from them," the minister said.

Part of the plan is to establish an aqua birth facility expected to help increase live births.

"We want to ensure we ease the delivery process by making the hospital more comfortable for expectant mothers," said Wanyama.

Data from the health department show the county recorded 236 stillbirths in the last financial year. At the same time, a good number of deliveries (32.3 per cent) were aided by unskilled birth attendants.

At least 199 macerated stillbirths were reported. The number of teen pregnancies recorded was 10,965 with most of those affected aged between 10 and 19 years.

Tuwan MCA Benard Wambua said the first phase of the project will start next month and will involve putting up the buildings that will house the hospital. It will also involve mechanical and electrical works as well as buying the equipment.

Phase one will cost Sh105 million. The next phase will start in July next year.

"We have asked the contractor to adhere to guidelines by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation," said Wambua.

Cynthia Nanjala, a resident, is still smarting from the pain of suffering a stillbirth. "It was a painful experience. But we are happy with this development as it will improve health services," said the 27-year-old. 

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