, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – At least 108 model health centres have been constructed under the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) and handed over to the government.
Public Health Minister Beth Mugo said on Friday that the ministry targeted to complete and equip 181 out of 201 of all the ESP model health centres by July.
“This is a clear demonstration of the efforts that the government has made to improve primary health care interventions at primary health facilities for the benefit of communities,” she said.
While handing over 43 ambulances for health facilities in North Eastern and Upper Eastern as a culmination of the programme, Mugo termed the Sh4 billion programme a success.
“This will ensure that the poor, primarily served by dispensaries and health centres can access basic health services. I am convinced that these ambulances will significantly contribute to the reduction of the high maternal and infant mortality,” Mugo said.
Ijara Member of Parliament Yusuf Haji whose constituency was benefiting from the ambulances urged the health facilities to take good care of the ambulances to ensure they serve the people.
“These vehicles should not be used for errands, should not be used for excursions by officers they should be used strictly for the purpose for which they have been donated. Kenya has changed and if people misuse these vehicles, we will tell our people to impound them and report to you (Ministry of Public Health) because they are very important to our lives,” he warned.
For the health sector, the programme was a comprehensive health care reforms initiative covering infrastructure development, promotion of preventive health care and devolved management of facilities which included construction and equipping health centres in 201 constituencies.
She noted that the ESP had contributed immensely towards the expansion of health care facilities in rural and marginalized areas.
Under the programme, the Ministry was expected to construct and equip 201 model health centres, procure and distribute five motor cycles per constituency, procure and distribute 20 bicycles per constituency and recruit and deploy 35 nurses per constituency.
It was also required to recruit and deploy five public health officers/technicians per constituency, 10 community health workers per constituency and distribute 43 ambulances for use in the districts or constituencies.
“The biggest challenge facing the health sector is inadequate manpower which has undermined all types of service delivery efforts,” she noted.
She however said that over 8,000 health workers had been recruited through the ESP and once complete the exercise would see the employment of 50 staff per constituency giving a total of 10, 500.
This would reduce staff gap by 50 percent.
The government introduced the Economic Stimulus Package in 2009 as an economic revival plan to be implemented in all constituencies for equity.