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Health office seeks Sh7b in next budget

By Mercy Kahenda | February 4th 2020 at 09:30:00 GMT +0300

The Nakuru County department of health is seeking to increase its budget by at least Sh1 billion to effectively implement the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

According to health services sector report for Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), the department was allocated Sh6,052,595,303 in the 2019/20 budget against a projected expenditure of Sh7,242,619,100.

The report notes that the allocation will be used to eliminate communicable diseases, halt and reverse rising burden of non-communicable conditions and reduce the burden of injuries.

The money, according to the department, will also be used to provide essential health services and strengthen collaboration with health-related sectors.

In improving services, the department is planning to adopt the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards of a health facility within a five-kilometre radius to improve access to quality health and implement UHC.

“The department should use geo-mapping of health facility distributions as per WHO requirement of 5 kilometres for better access of health services,” states the report.

Within the five-kilometre radius, each ward will have a model health centre to offer referral services for dispensaries.

The health centres will curb congestion at sub-county hospitals and the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital.

The total number of model health centres will be 55.

Primary health care

Dispensaries will offer primary health care services such as immunisation, basic emergency services and treatment of common diseases.

However, the department will not use the budgetary allocation to construct new facilities, but to upgrade existing ones.

“The department will continue to build on the gains made in the previous MTEF period. It includes infrastructural upgrading programme targeting seven key hospitals,” states the report.

The hospitals listed for upgrading include Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital, Naivasha, Gilgil, Molo, Olenguruone, Elburgon,Githioro dispensaries as well as Njoro and Bahati hospitals.

There is a total of 674 health facilities spread across the county including private, faith-based , non- governmental and public ones. In addition, the county has 249 community units that offer level one services.

In the past three years, the health department has been taking the lion’s share of county budget, with an allocation of 34.3 per cent. However, 57 per cent of the funding is spent on personnel emolument.

The county health expenditure was financed from different sources including the county government (53.9 per cent)  and out of pocket household expenditure (31.1 per cent).

Donors funded 7 per cent of the budget while corporates raised 8 per cent of the funding.

Preventive health

“The department will strengthen preventive and promotive health services to address the over 80 per cent of the sanitation-related disease burden and rising burden of non-communicable diseases,” states the report.

According to Nakuru Health Sector Strategic and Investment plan of 2018/2022 report, at least 80 per cent of diseases can be prevented through community sensitisation.

Top causes of ill health for children under the age of five include upper respiratory tract infection (17 per cent), diarrhea (6.2), pneumonia (3.4), tonsils (2.6) and ear infection (2.5).

Universal Health Coverage Nakuru County department of health
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