With access to quality and affordable health services being one among the Governments Big Four Agenda, the County Government of Nakuru is putting measures in place to ensure that its populace has easy access to affordable and quality health care.
Promotion of accessible and affordable health care for all county residents was one of Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s campaign pledges. True to his word, the Governor is making remarkable strides towards achieving his promise to residents of Nakuru County.
Seeing the health sector as a critical component of economic growth, Governor Kinyanjui has allocated a huge chunk of his 2018/2019 budget to the health department. A whooping Kes 5.4 billion translating to 37% of the total county budget has been allocated to the health sector.
According to the medical superintendent at the Nakuru level five hospital Dr. Joseph Mburu, the increased budget allocation will ensure that patients receive critical services when they need. “In the past, we have had a very strained budget but with this increased allocation things will change,” he says adding, “we will be able to buy more drugs, streamline our systems as well as procure more new equipment to ensure efficient and quality service delivery to our patients.”
Rehabilitation of facilities
The county has prioritized the rehabilitation of dilapidated existing health facilities with a total of Kes 50 million being set aside to realize that goal.
Rehabilitation works have already begun on the Langalanga Sub county hospital which the county intends to use to decongest the Nakuru level five hospital.
According to health ministry Chief Officer Dr. Samuel Mwaura, expansion of the Langalanga Sub-county hospital includes construction of inpatient wards, a theater and a maternity ward expected to cost the taxpayer Kes 3 million.
“Nakuru Level five hospital is overstretched and our plan is to equip sub county hospitals so that they can have the capacity to deal with patients down there,” said Mwaura.
On completion, Langalanga sub county hospital with a total bed capacity for 100 patients is expected to ease pressure on the main referral level five hospital.
Already the county has completed the Construction of the Kapkures and Rhonda maternity facilities, with a total bed capacity of 20 patients.
The maternity wings of the two health facilities come a as a big relief to expectant mothers from Kapkures and Rhonda informal settlements in Nakuru West Sub County. Previously area residents had to travel all the way to the General hospital to access maternal services. “Most labour pains strike at night and it has been very risky for mothers to travel at night to the general hospital,” says Monica Wanga, a resident of Rhonda area. Monica explains that some women have been forced to give birth along the way or at home due to lack of transport, “but having this facility close to us will save us money as well as save many lives.”
The county has also invested in the expansion and refurbishment of the Bondeni maternity hospital which includes construction of a theater and additional wards. “Initially Bondeni maternity used to ferry patients to the level five hospital for theater services and we saw the need of putting up a theater which is currently under construction,’’ said Mwaura.
Other health facilities targeted in the rehabilitation programme include the Naivasha, Gilgil, Molo and Bahati Sub-county hospitals.
Expansion of Nakuru PGH
With support from the National government the county government of Nakuru is putting up an ultra modern mother and child care facility at a cost of Kes 300 million.
The 192 bed capacity facility is expected to be completed by September with President Uhuru Kenyatta expected to officiate its opening.
The new maternity wing will among other things contain theaters, mother and child wellness clinics, wards, antenatal clinics and baby shops.
Already signs of swift service offering can be witnessed at the Nakuru referral hosipital where long patient queues which were a common thing at the causality department being minimized.
Godfrey Kamangu suffered a fractured pelvic bone in a road accident two years ago and has been frequenting the PGH for checkups and he admits that in deed things have changed in the past one year.
“When I started coming here one would wait at the casualty department for more than two hours before being attended to but now with the computerization of the system I barely take less than 45 minutes,” said Kamangu.