‘We want President Uhuru Kenyatta to launch new medical kit’

Kakamega Provincial General Hospital may start using part of the controversial multi-billion shilling medical equipment leased and supplied by the national government.

Health Executive Peninah Mukabane said the equipment was awaiting presidential commissioning at the hospital.

"The equipment at Kakamega Provincial General Hospital include a digital x-ray, mammograms and modern maternity machines. We expected the President to visit after Machakos to commission its use. The problem was that health is a devolved function and governors felt they had to be involved in the procurement of the equipment," Ms Mukabane said at a function in Emusala yesterday.

Mukabane hinted at the possibility of the county embracing the equipment for the sake of patients who are suffering yet machines are lying idle at the hospital.

"At the end of day, the patient's life is paramount. We will be in charge of consumables like electricity, water and reagents that will be used on the machines while the national government will take care of servicing," she said.


This comes after Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya reportedly asked the national government to go slow on the leasing scheme until inconsistencies surrounding the lease are solved.

Mr Munya demanded that Auditor General Edward Ouko comes in and itemises liabilities that will go to county governments following signing of the deal with national government.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has already signed the contract on the machines with the Government and has had the machines set up at the Machakos Level Five hospital.

Nine county governments have since signed the contracts to use the equipment for seven years.

Meanwhile, social and cultural beliefs among some communities have been blamed for hindering the operation of the Women Enterprise Fund at the grassroots.

The fund, which has been in existence for the last seven years, aims at empowering women for economic development.

Some women do not apply for loans from the enterprises fearing that their property will be auctioned yet in some communities women do not own property.

Speaking at a Kakamega hotel during the capacity building for women from western region, the fund's Director Francisca Auma said they also lack enough manpower to discharge their mandate effectively across the country.

"We do not charge interest on our funds but some administrative fee which clients at the grassroots are unable to understand, making our work difficult," Ms Auma said.

Auma, who was accompanied by other directors of the fund, also cited insecurity in some counties as another blow to their work as they cannot reach their members in insecurity prone areas.

"In some places, it has been a nightmare for us as we are unable to reach our people. Some women also fear to take loans because they think their property will be auctioned," she said.

However, she expressed hope for the fund saying the repayment rate which stands at 92 per cent is encouraging as they target to disburse over Sh2.2 billion by 2017.

"We have given out Sh6.14 billion to over one million clients. We target to reach more women and give them Sh2.2 billion by 2017 to help them participate in the economic growth of this nation," she said.

The fund's Western Regional Co-ordinator Joseph Oyowo said women from 48 constituencies in the region have benefited from it.

Elsewhere, some 128 needy students from the region have received sponsorship for their higher education.

The sponsorship from African Canadian Continuing Education Society based in Kakamega and will cater for their tuition fees for a period of two to four years depending on the academic duration of individual beneficiary.

Seventy-five beneficiaries will be sponsored in their bachelor's degree studies while 53 for their diploma courses.

Those who benefited are total and partial orphans as well as needy students from Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga counties.