The Kenyan government is set to hire about 4,000 nurses and health technicians.
The workers, who also include an additional 2,100 community health employees, will be recruited at a cost of Sh1 billion.
They will be distributed equitably throughout the country’s constituencies. The money for the recruitment has been provided for in the current financial year.
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka made the announcement when he opened a regional health ministers’ meeting in Mombasa on Thursday.
He said in order to revamp the fledgling healthcare system in the country, the government will also buy 300 ambulances, motorcycles and medical supplies to distribute among public health facilities.
According to a health scorecard presented at the meeting, nowadays, more women in Kenya are dying while giving birth than was the case five years ago mainly because of increasing poverty and poor healthcare facilities.
The audit report covering the health status of 10 sub-Saharan African countries was presented to health ministers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It also indicated that the number of children suffering from malnutrition has also gone up within the same period.
Minister for Public Health and Sanitation Beth Mugo wondered why the number of child deaths had gone up while more women nowadays are breastfeeding than was the case five years ago.
“The more deaths could be attributed to the increasing high levels of malnutrition, pneumonia, malaria and a host of other diseases, including HIV, that are prevalent in these countries,” said Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae, the director-general of the East, Central, and Southern Africa Health Community.