NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – The Council of Governors Wednesday decried slow disbursement of county equitable share of revenue saying the delays were impeding COVID-19 response efforts.
CoG said that Treasury is yet to disburse Sh78bn for January, February and March with two months remaining to the end of the financial year.
Kisumu Governor, Anyang’ Nyong’o, who chairs the CoG of Health Committee added 12 counties are owed Sh7.2bn for December.
“The council now strongly notify the National Treasury that this inordinate four-month delay may lead to other drastic action since negotiations seem not to be heeded, the council demands for immediate disbursement owed to county government before the April 15,” Nyong’o said in a statement sent to newsrooms.
The CoG also resolved to convene talks with Treasury, the Ministry of Health and the AIDS control agency on Monday to discuss prevailing ARV shortages countrywide.
Nyongo said the meeting is aimed at initializing preparations of long-term measures to address the stock-out concern amid the pandemic which has partly shifted focus from the plight of those living with HIV/AIDS.
The council noted that there are counties with no HIV commodities which risks compromising viral suppression of people taking ARVs and increasing their chances of succumbing to HIV-related complications.
“Counties are committed to discussing the sustainability of HIV interventions in the country, there is a need to increase domestic financing and production of ARV commodities,” Nyong’o added.
In order to boost fight against the coronavirus pandemic, CoG said the Public Service Commission had cleared the renewal of health workers’ contracts by counties for six more months commencing April.
Nyong’o said contracts for healthcare workers engaged in the management of COVID-19 across the county will be prioritized.
He said the Ministry of Health is working closely county governments to ensure healthcare workers who terminated their contracts are replaced immediately to ensure service delivery is not affected.
“The government is also considering to extend the contracts of the health workers still in service for one year,” he noted.