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CS Nakhumicha joins President Ruto in inspection of medical facilities in Vihiga County

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The Cabinet Secretary for Health Nakhumicha S. Wafula on Tuesday joined President William Ruto in the inspection and commissioning of various medical facilities in Vihiga County in a move aimed at bringing heathcare services closer to the people.

Speaking during the event,the President promised to deploy 100,000 Community Health Promoters (CHPs) to undertake basic medical care, including check-ups, screenings and patient counselling in a bid to decongest referral hospitals and free their resources to handle serious medical cases.

“Officially opened the 90-bed capacity Emuhaya Sub-County Hospital Ward Unit; later opened the Vihiga County Referral Hospital CT Scan Centre.To switch the focus of our health services to preventive care, we will deploy 100,000 Community Health Promoters.This move will enhance the efficiency of the health system and is an important stage in the implementation of Universal Health Coverage.” he said.

President Ruto who is in Western part of the country for a five-day working visit started with inspection of Emuhaya Hospital before opening Hamisi Sub-County Hospital Twin Theatre Unit in a packed schedule that also saw him commission CT Scan Centre at Vihiga County Referral Hospital  among other official activities.

Nakhumicha who addressed hundreds of receptive area locals earlier before the President’s arrival in the morning promised to address challenges facing Community Health Promoters starting from October this year.

“I’m impressed to be here and meet happy Kenyans waiting to see their President. In our midst I can see our Community Health Promoters whom I look forward tackling their problems from October as they have been doing a good job.Each one of them will have a new phone,a bag with enough medicines inside and besides we will also increase their monthly stipend from the current Sh 2000” she noted amid applause from the residents.

According to the CS, the ministry and the counties selected the CHPs who will be required to interact with the people at the community level and get the relevant health information that will help in referral and also policy-making at the national level based on global criteria.

“It should be somebody who is respected within the community so that people will not have a problem sharing with them some personal information. The community should trust that the information they give you will remain confidential and trust that you will offer solutions.These are already leaders within the community so we have added the training aspect on them so that they can carry out the work of a community health promoter but equally they are already identified within the communities.” she affirmed.

The President’s involvement in launching and opening of county health facilities comes two months following his assurance that the national government has no interest in taking over the health function, saying instead the State will support the county governments to deliver quality and affordable healthcare to the people.

Some of the areas in which the President said the two levels of government will collaborate include equipping hospitals, formulation of policy and financing framework involving capacity building and remuneration of community health promoters. He also said that they will form an advisory council that will deal with matters of counties’ medical workers.

“We have a comprehensive plan on how to better address issues surrounding the welfare of medics and we want to have a seamless intergovernmental working relationship that will enable us to implement various reforms in the health sector,” Dr Ruto said while opening and elevating the Kerugoya Referral Hospital to a Level Five facility in June.

Others present during today’s activities included Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua,Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi,National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula,area Governor Wilbur Ottichilo among other senior government officials and local leaders.

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