Limited funds to blame for counties health woes

Western Kenya governors are railing against the Government for the poor status of the health sector in their counties.

The governors say limited funding of their counties coupled with delayed disbursement of funds by the national government was greatly affecting the health sector. Health is a devolved function managed by county governments but it relies on funds from the national government. Acknowledging the challenges, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia asked the county governments to allocate more funds to the health sector to address the challenges they face.

Speaking in Busia during the World Malaria Day, Mr Macharia said lack of funds, even at the national level, was the main challenge facing the health sector. “We have limited finances and resources to deal with numerous challenges in health but out of your allocations, set aside more funds to improve the sector,” he said. Macharia said the national government will continue to partner and support county governments in handling the health sector.
Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga and Busia counties have experienced challenges in the sector ranging from medical staff going on strike over salary delays, lack of drugs, medical facilities and shortage of health workers.
Kakamega Health Executive Peninah Mukabane said the county has a shortage of 2,500 medical staff with some health centres lacking enough facilities. “We had a shortage of 3,000 health workers, we have hired 500 and we are now faced with a shortage of 2,500 workers. Some health centres lack laboratories and facilities to test some diseases,” said Dr Mukabane. She said most health facilities in her county are not well supplied with drugs because of limited funds.
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