Busia county eyes kitty to fund healthcare

Condemned maternity wing at the Malanga Level Two dispensary in Nambale. The facility does not provide maternity services due to lack of funds, personnel and appropriate equipment. [Ignatius Odanga, Standard]

Monies collected as levies from patients in sub-county and referral hospitals will now be injected into improving health services in local dispensaries.

According to Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, the money will be managed by boards in charge of dispensaries and health facilities under the Facility Improvement Fund.

The kitty already has Sh57 million that was collected from the sub-county hospitals and the county referral in the last fiscal year.

Consequently, conditional grants from donors will also be channeled in enhancing services at dispensaries and health centres across the seven constituencies of Nambale, Matayos, Teso North, Budalang’i, Butula, Teso South and Funyula.

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The money will be used in operationalisation of the over 20 dispensaries that are complete, but are yet to be opened to the public.

Speaking during the inauguration of the boards last week, Mr Ojaamong said the money received will be shared among the boards that were constituted to manage the facilities.

The county has always relied on donation from Danish International Development Agency (Danida) and Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (Ampath) to run the lower health facilities.

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“Members of the health committee boards will have to undergo training to enable them understanding what is expected of them as far as proper management of dispensaries and health centres is concerned,” said Ojaamong.

Creation of the boards to manage the health facilities, according to Ojaamong, will make the work of the county easier in dealing with issues bedeviling the health sector.

“This is a big step towards ensuring that our health facilities are well managed and deliver better health services to our people,” he said.

“Members of the boards will be taken through training to understand precisely what they are supposed to do as far as smooth running of health facilities are concerned,” he added.

There are currently 62 dispensaries in the county. Of these, more than 20 are complete but are yet to be opened to the public. The functioning dispensaries have at least three nurses.

Projects in some facilities either stalled or have never taken off. For instance, at Malanga Level 2 dispensary, there is a maternity wing, a laboratory and houses for the health workers that have stalled.

The latrines are in bad shape. Used syringes, needles and cotton are stored in a polythene bag and later collected by the county to be dumped since the incinerator is yet to be completed.

At Bukalama dispensary in Matayos constituency, there is no power and the road to the facility is impassible in rainy season.

Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, who is also the acting County Executive Committee member for Health and Sanitation, said it was possible for the county to collect more than Sh200 million from sub-county and referral hospitals and later disburse the same to dispensaries and health centres.

He said the management boards will share the available Sh57 million amongst themselves and use the cash to run the facilities. “We never used to have money that can help in running our small health facilities but now the money we shall get from sub-county and referral hospitals will be used to manage our dispensaries and health centres,” said Mulomi.

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Governor Sospeter OjaamongFacility Improvement Fund