Governor Hassan Joho says health services have improved greatly in the county thanks to devolution.
He said the Coast General Hospital had doubled its bed capacity in the Intensive Care Unit from six since the advent of regional governments.
“The hospital is also handling up to 32 dialysis cases every day compared to only 10 before devolution. It is also able to carry out heart operations,” said the governor.
Mr Joho spoke in the County Assembly Thursday after launching a nutritional programme meant to improve residents’ health.
He also said they were now handling up to 160 women needing maternity services at Mrima Health Centre in Likoni every month, up from 30.
“Patients are now being referred to the Coast Provincial General Hospital from private hospitals, including Pandya. This never happened before devolution. Confidence in public health facilities has increased tremendously due to improved services,” Joho said.
Noting that the county government had allocated the health sector Sh2.6 billion this financial year, the governor said they were working to improve services even more.
Meanwhile, the county government described as peanuts the Sh700 million Deputy President William Ruto said had been given to the county to buy medical equipment.
The nutrition programme, known as Pwani Lishe Bora, has been supported by the county and national governments as well as the European Union.
Joho urged locals to adapt healthy lifestyles and good eating habits. The EU has injected about Sh90 million into the three-year project.
Joho also confirmed that he would not join Jubilee despite overtures by the ruling coalition.
“Their efforts will come to naught because I am a principled politician,” he said. “I will co-operate with the national government only as per the Constitution. However, I cannot join Jubilee,” said Joho, who is also ODM’s deputy party leader.
The governor is hoping to be the Orange party’s presidential flag bearer in the 2022 elections.
Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter
Mombasa Woman Representative Mishi Mboko, and Nutrition and Dietetic Unit Programme Officer in the Ministry of Health, Grace Gichohi, among others were present.
Ms Mboko called for more hospitals in the sub-counties to reduce congestion at the Coast General Hospital.
She also wants the national government to increase funds to the county referral hospital because it served the entire Coast region.
“We understand Kwale County has received specialised medical equipment worth Sh800 million. We hope this will reduce congestion at Coast General Hospital,” she said.