33 Counties request MOH for controversial clinic containers

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki at Editors Guild Luncheon on Universal Health Coverage at Panafric Hotel on November 6, 2019. [David Gichuru/Standard]
The Government will soon release Sh800 million mobile container clinics, whose questionable purchase is under probe by the anti-graft agency, to counties for use.

Speaking yesterday in Nairobi, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki (pictured) said 33 counties have written to her office, requesting for the containers after Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) allowed the ministry to distribute some of them and leave others as exhibits.

“Those containers will be taken to counties that have requested them. We are just waiting for approval in terms of budget,” Kariuki said.

Purchase of the 100 container clinics raised eyebrows three years ago, after it emerged that the supplier bought them from manufacturers at a cost Sh1.2 million each, but sold them to the government at Sh10 million each.

EACC has been investigating the transaction since.

Kariuki, however, explained that she has been engaging with EACC, so that the containers can be put in use as investigations continue.

“The matter touching on the supplier is before EACC. However, EACC did allow the ministry to distribute part of the containers and leave others as exhibits,” she explained.

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“Of what good is an investment when part of the payment has already been made and the containers are not serving Kenyans?”

At least 68 of the containers are currently being stored at the Mathari Hospital.

In April this year, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache told parliament’s Health Committee that the ministry requires Sh336 million to run the clinics annually.

She also said Sh330 million will be needed to transport them to counties and hire personnel to man them.

Counties that are supposed to receive the clinics initially are Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Makueni, Nairobi, Murang’a, Kericho, Nakuru and Nandi.

She said after the containers have been equipped, they will look neat.

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mobile container clinicsHealth Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki