Nyong’o downplays claims of crisis in Kisumu health sector

Monday March 02 2020

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o who has defended his administration over claims of poor management of the health sector in the county.. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o has defended his administration over claims of poor management of the health sector in the county.

This comes at a time when health workers have joined growing calls by lobby groups to have the national government take over the function from the county government.

The calls have been made owing to numerous setbacks, such as incessant strikes by health workers among other challenges.

But Prof Nyong’o said he has done a lot for the sector since he became Kisumu governor.


He said the push to have his administration cede the function to the national government is unwarranted considering the milestones achieved in the sector under his watch.


"Those proposing the idea should properly read Schedule 4 of the Constitution. We have achieved far much better health quality in the county and the health workers have received promotion letters," Governor Nyong’o said through his press unit on Sunday.

This came as Kisumu nurses and clinical officers joined calls by lobby groups to transfer health services to the national government.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) said on Sunday that this will enhance service delivery to patients in the county.


Knun Secretary-General Maurice Opetu said rampant industrial strikes and mismanagement of the sector confirmed that the Kisumu governor is unable to run the sector effectively, hence the call to transfer the services to the national government.

"We feel it is long overdue. In Kisumu County, we have had persistent labour unrest in the health sector because of poor management of health and resources," Mr Opetu told the Nation.

But, in a swift rejoinder, Governor Nyong'o said the county receives 30 per cent of patients from Nyamira, Homa Bay, Siaya and Vihiga counties.

He defended his administration, saying every county has a different health financial system and that Kisumu has been self-funding to run the referral system.


Last week, a section of county assembly members demanded the resignation of the Kisumu governor over the state of healthcare services after workers staged a weeklong strike over delayed salaries.

Some MCAs even threatened to impeach the governor.

The Knun secretary-general said that on several occasions, the union has advised the county government to create a special budgetary allocation to deal with any crisis that arises in the health sector, but that has been ignored.

"Prof Nyong'o’s administration has failed to work with banks to pay salaries even when the county does not have money from the Exchequer, he said.

The union further accused the county government of poor communication to the health sector stakeholders.