By Boniface Gikandi
Murang’a, Kenya: Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia came face to face with challenges affecting delivery of health services during a tour of institutions in Murang’a County.
During the tour, Mr Macharia found that most of the facilities were unable to effectively deliver services due to shortage of staff, staggered distribution of drugs, unserviceable equipment and lack of beds.
The Cabinet Secretary witnessed dilapidation in Kandara and Kigumo health centres.
He was taken aback when he learnt that patients, especially men, fail to seek medical treatment, only turning up when they are critically ill.
Macharia toured health facilities in Murang’a, Kangema, Muriranja, Kigumo and Kandara, where he was told that the institutions have been recording low turn-out of patients due to lack of beds, laboratory testing equipment and few workers
Macharia ordered health managers at Kangema Sub-County Hospital to immediately refer a young boy admitted at the facility to Kenyatta National Hospital for diagnosis.
Accompanied by Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria and his deputy Gakure Monyo, Macharia said his tour was meant to assess the needs of health institutions countrywide.
At Kigumo Health Centre, he found a medical ward whose construction cost more than Sh5 million but which had remained unused for two years due to lack of bedding.
And at the Murang’a District Hospital, there was an old laundry machine that has been in operation for about 30 years. Staff claimed the machine has been destroying garments.
Macharia said the national government would work in partnership with county governments to enhance delivery of quality health services.
It was only in Maragua District Hospital that he was told the facility has been receiving patients from other hospitals for specialised treatment.
Maragua Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Stephen Ngige said despite myriad challenges, the facility has continued to attract hundreds of patients from other counties daily. “I’m delighted to learn that despite challenges, Maragua Hospital has turned out to be a referral centre for other hospitals,” said Macharia.
The Cabinet Secretary donated 40 beds and linen to the Muriranja District Hospital.
At Kangema Hospital, Macharia was told that a mortuary that was constructed with Constituency Development Funds has remained unused due to lack of Sh700,000 to increase power voltage.