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Wavinya, Kang'ata vow to fix dysfunctional health sector as Natembeya goes head on with county askaris

Machakos County Governor Wavinya Ndeti chats with the faithful after attending a church service at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Cathedral church in Machakos town on August 28, 2022. [John Muia, Standard]

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti today made an impromptu visit to Machakos Level 5 Hospital and vowed to fix the dysfunctional health sector within the first 100 days in office.

For several months, a near collapse of services has been reported in all public health facilities across the county where there is an acute shortage of medicine and laboratory reagents.

Wavinya, who was accompanied by her deputy, Francis Mwangangi inspected all the departments of the hospital during a fact finding mission.

The governor came face to face with the dire situation in the hospital. Addressing the media, Wavinya said Machakos deserves better healthcare services.

“Just as I promised to turn around the healthcare sector in Machakos, I will work tirelessly to ensure all the gaps are addressed especially the supply of medicine and other essential items in our hospitals,” she said.

The governor promised to convene an urgent meeting with relevant officials to address challenges of procurement of drugs and other medical supplies to improve services and save the people from further suffering. 

The governor further directed hospitals to set up a digital register of patients records and referral system to ease disease management.

“We have to start thinking about digitizing our records and patients referral system so that our healthcare workers find it easy to manage patients. A lot of time is lost with the over reliance on paperwork, which may delay the process of treatment,” she said.

Wavinya urged health workers to report any challenges that affect service delivery.

“My office is wide open. Any worker irrespective of their cadre is welcome to my office to report any kind of malpractice or inconsistency that might frustrate our efforts to discharge services to our people,” she said.

Her Murang’a counterpart Irungu Kang’ata pledged to address challenges faced by county workers and residents.

Top of the concerns is delayed salaries, lack of drugs in public health facilities and uncollected garbage among others.

Speaking in his office after he was taken round the departments, Mr Kang’ata revealed that there is an agreement with Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) to embark on supplying drugs to the health facilities as they organise to clear the Sh35 million debt.

Muranga Governor Irungu Kang’ata being sworn in at Ihura Stadium. [Standard]

“My administration last week held talks with Kemsa leadership and agreed to unfreeze Murang’a county government accounts and start delivery of drugs,” he said.

"The culture of buying drugs at a high cost from the private suppliers due to interests overstepping government backed Kemsa has come to an end,” added the governor.

On education, Kang’ata regretted that some students under the Nyota Zetu Programme have been sent home after their school fees cheques bounced.

Those who accompanied the governor were his deputy Stephen Mburu, University lecturer Dr Winnie Mwangi, Dean at Kenya Law School Prof Kiarie Mwaura and former high school Principals Philomen Kibiru and Dr Newton Mwangi among others.

In Trans Nzoia, George Natembeya has ordered county askaris to stop harassing traders and residents in Kitale town.

Staff were surprised when they reported to office at 8.00am only to be told that the governor was already at his desk by 7am.

Mr Natembeya in his manifesto had promised to change the face of Kitale town and the county administration in the first 100 days in office.

The governor, who has a huge task to address unfinished business by the previous regime, said he intends to set a good example for other public servants.

Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya addressed members of the Kisii community at Geta farm. [Standard]

Dressed in a grey stripped suit, blue shirt, stripped tie and black shoes, Natembeya held a meeting with the County Secretary Sifuna Wakofula.

He said he reported to work early to address office matters before embarking on routine visits to meet the people.

“I'm aware of the task ahead of me. I will be reporting at 7.00am to handle and empty in-trays to enable me to have a humble time with the members of public," Natembeya told The Standard.

He promised to create more time to personally attend to needs of the people.

"I will not be sitting in office but going out to understand the needs of the people and immediate solutions," he said.

During the swearing-in last week, the governor promised to transform Trans Nzoia into a model county.

The governor targets to make agriculture a profitable venture.

Natembeya has challenged lazy county staff to either resign or change.

Residents heaped praise on the new governor after they learned that he had reported to office early.

They expressed confidence that Natembeya will deliver.

"We have a lot of expectations from the new governor. We are optimistic that he is able to deliver and turn round the economy of the county for our benefit," said Jeremiah Moturi, a resident of Kibomet.

The governor is expected to hold a meeting with members of the County Service Board.

[Erastus Mulwa, Boniface Gikandi and Obare Osinde]