Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has pledged to make the region a model county in the provision of quality and affordable healthcare to poor households.
The governor said she has embarked on refurbishing and equipping health facilities of all categories in the county as well as recruitment of more medical staff to ease shortages.
Mrs Ngilu, a former Health minister in the Kibaki administration, said she understands what needs to be done to turn around the ailing health sector in the counties.
“I am committed to improving all public health centres in Kitui to state-of-the-art standards [which] everyone would prefer visiting for medical services” Mrs Ngilu said.
She said this will ease the congestion which referral hospitals are facing as patients from remote areas like Nuu or Ikutha wards will no longer require to travel as they will get the services they need at their nearby facilities.
The governor spoke when she deployed a team of new 35 specialised medical staff to various hospitals in the county.
The team comprising of 27 doctors and eight pharmacists, who were seen off during a ceremony the Kitui Level Four Hospital grounds, were seconded from the Ministry of Health to ease staff shortage.
Mrs Ngilu said the additional 35 medical staff sent to Kitui were a major boost to the region’s health sector that received an allocation of 60 nurses two months ago after she became governor.
The governor assured the medical staff of her support in realising a better environment for service provision in the hospitals, saying that her leadership will set pace in providing solutions to possible setbacks encountered in the facilities.
She urged the doctors to embrace dialogue in solving issues that have often resulted to industrial action.
“My office is open for you, my phone number is available when needed,” she said as expression of her willingness to face the challenges doctors face in course of duty.
The governor applauded all stakeholders whose contribution and dialogue has led to an end of the nurses' strike that resulted to loss of lives countrywide.
“We’ve lost at least five women during child delivery since my swearing in. It pains me a lot, and no woman should be used as a statistic whatsoever in telling maternal health stories” She said.
Mrs Ngilu reiterated that the county health insurance cover is a key plank of her plan that seeks to make Kitui the leading county in universal healthcare provision to all.
The latest deployment of medical staff comes as a fulfilment of the governor’s campaign pledge to ensure that hospitals get doctors in the first 100 days in office.
County Executive Member for Health Rosaita Ngina said that her ministry is keen to strengthen the health information system through automation of operations to ensure that efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery is realised.
She challenged the medical staff to ensure that they improve the health sector in the county and assured them that the ministry targets health financing through allocation from the national government and partnership with willing individuals, bilateral and multilateral donors, among many others.
She said that she will embrace a sound engagement framework with both medical and non-medical staff for smooth operations and offer quality services to the people of Kitui.
Also present in the event were Deputy Governor Wathe Nzau, County CECs, chief officers and national government officials.