Counties have no funds to buy Personal Protective Equipment or hire more healthcare workers, Kisii Governor James Ongwae has said.
The governor, who is also chair of the Human Resource Committee in the Council of Governors, said for three months counties have not received a disbursement from the exchequer hence the national government should look into how counties will get PPE.
“The last time we received resources was in August. If we had resources, we would buy PPE directly from the market because procurement from Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) takes two to three weeks. But still, to buy from Kemsa you also need money, which we do not have,” he said.
The governor said counties have petitioned several times to have the disbursements done on time to no avail. “Some of us have been forced to run to the banks for money. How do you recruit personnel when you pay staff with loans? Maybe the Senate can intervene,” he said.
But Senator Beth Mugo, who is a member of the Senate Standing Committee on health probed the governor on how counties used money given to them for Covid-19 preparedness.
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Ongwae defended his colleagues, saying there were guidelines on how the money would be used and auditors were involved in the process.
“The money was well used. Most of it was used for development (setting up beds and facilities) than operations like getting PPE and commodities,” he said. Yesterday's update by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe documented 6,158 samples, 780 of which tested positive. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 80,102.