, BUNGOMA, Kenya, May 22 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has urged all Kenyans to register with the National Hospital Insurance Fund for better healthcare.
She said registering with the scheme will reduce the burden of hospital care on families.
The First Lady made the plea when she donated medical supplies and equipment to Bungoma Referral Hospital. The hospital has served the residents of Bungoma and neighbouring regions for over 65 years.
“I hope that the medical supplies and equipment we will be providing will enhance the hospital’s efforts to handle more deliveries of babies, as well as surgeries and the many emergencies it encounters daily,” said the First Lady.
She said she was impressed by the fact that on average, the Bungoma Referral Hospital conducts over 250 major operations and 600 deliveries every month; and that there are plans to expand the services.
The hospital was elevated to Level 5 status in April last year and currently plans to expand its medical infrastructure to include a maternity and child wing, a theatre for emergency surgeries and critical care services to ease congestion.
The two new areas the hospital is focusing on are also an urgent concern for the Government through the Universal Health Access Agenda and the same is also part of the scope of the First Lady’s Beyond Zero initiative.
“We are here to offer our support towards the attainment of the hospital’s vision with this donation of medical supplies and equipment,” said the First Lady at the Bungoma Posta Grounds.
The First Lady also made a plea for local and international donors to support lower level hospitals so that they can provide better and specialised healthcare to Kenyans at the grassroots.
She said she will continue championing and supporting the provision of better healthcare to all Kenyans.
“I want to assure you that I will remain focused on the work I started four years ago – working closely with the County and National Government – to see that the healthcare for children, women and men is improved so that no one is left behind,” said the First Lady.
The donations were made possible through a special partnership between Beyond Zero and two American organisations – Project CURE (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment) and Friends of Africa International. Project CURE is the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment to more than 130 countries.
The donation to Bungoma Referral Hospital was the fourth of its kind coming after similar donations to Kieni Hospital (Embu County), Chemolingot District Hospital (Baringo County) and Kitui County Referral Hospital (Kitui County).
The medical supplies and equipments donated by the First Lady are geared towards improving access to healthcare services. The initiatives of Beyond Zero are aligned with the Universal Health Access Agenda, which is one of President Kenyatta’s Big Four plan for Kenya’s growth.
Chief Administrative Secretary of Ministry of Health Dr Rashid Aman, who spoke at the event, said the ministry of health appreciates the role the First Lady plays in promotion of better healthcare. He said the efforts by the First Lady has led to improvement in maternal and child health indicators especially in arid and semi-arid parts of the country.
Bungoma County Governor Wycliffe Wangamati thanked the First Lady for the donations which included ICU equipment. “Your passion for healthcare is second to none in this country,” said the Governor.
County Commissioner James Kianda said the national government will work closely with the County Government to ensure the donated equipments will be used to benefit the people.
Other leaders who spoke at the event included Deputy Governor Prof Ngome Kibanani, Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, Women Rep Catherine Wambiliyanga, and Sirisia MP John Walukhe.