County embarks on completing stalled 4-bed capacity ICU

Intensive Care and Emergency Units Centre that is under construction at the Busia County Referral Hosiptal. [Ignatius Odanga/Standard]
The county government has embarked on completing the stalled four-bed Busia Intensive Care and Emergency Unit centre.

The county last month handed over to a new contractor the Sh80 million tender to complete the project that has been lying unfinished since 2015.

The block is expected to be completed by February next year. The region does not have an ICU but has an emergency wing at the county referral hospital. All patients in critical medical conditions requiring ICU services are referred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

According to Governor Sospeter Ojaamong', by early next year the ICU will be serving patients bringing to an end long struggle of covering long distance of more than 150 kilometres to Eldoret.

The three storied building will also have a theater, High Dependency Unit, Causality wing and pharmacy. “We shall no longer be referring emergency cases to MTRH since ours will be functioning. Deaths arising from delayed specialized treatment will reduce,” said Ojaamong.

The contractor said he was currently plastering the building and affirmed that the block would be completed at an agreed time.

The county assembly's Health and Sanitation Committee vice chairperson, Nancy Okademi, said the completion of the building will offer permanent solution to emergency cases.

“The health committee is going to play its part in ensuring the ICU and Emergency Centre is completed to save locals from travelling long distance to Eldoret,” said Ms Okademi.

As the county embarks on completing the ICU and Emergency Centre, another project, the Sh44.4 million maternity and new born unit, stalled more than two years ago. The contract duration for the project was between 2015/16. The contractor was paid the money but disappeared leaving the project at its early stage.

In 2016 Audit Report Auditor General Edward Ouko raised queries about the ICU and Emergency Centre. According to the report, the county allocated a whooping Sh50 million for the project in the 2014/15 Financial Year.

The project as per Mr Ouko was supposed to be complete by June 2015. However, by June 2016 when the report was being released, nothing was going on the project.

“The health department implemented three projects involving construction of the wards and laboratories at the Obekai Dispensary, Malaba Dispensary and Sio Port Sub District Hospital at cost of Sh18.2 million, Sh18.2 million and Sh22.7million respectively. However, physical verification revealed that they were not in use and had defects in the quality of works,” read the report in part.

The Auditor General noted that Obekai dispensary had cracked floors and walls, door locks were not working as some could not open while others could not be closed and the ceiling board was poorly done.

Malaba Dispensary had cracking roofs and cracked walls while the doors were infested by termites.  In the theatre at Sio Port District Hospital the ceiling board had already caved in because it could not handle the weight of the equipment suspended and chip ceiling board.

“In circumstances, no value for money had been gained from the expenditure of the Sh190.6million at 30 June 2016,” read the Auditor General report.

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Sio Port District HospitalMalaba DispensaryIntensive Care and Emergency Units CentreBusia County Referral HosiptalBusia County