Report: Medics got lion’s share of virus cash

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 00:00 |
Mombasa County health officer during a familiarisation tour at the Covid-19 unit. Photo/PD/FILE

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

A new report has revealed that four counties spent the highest chunk of the Sh13.1 billion allocation of the Covid-19 funds  to pay health workers.

Report by the Controller of Budget (CoB) has shown that all the 47 counties spent a cumulative Sh1.4 billion to put up various isolation facilities yet a majority of them have not achieved the 300-bed capacity as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

According to the report, while the counties spent Sh786.78 million to pay health workers’ allowances beginning March 31 to July 31, Kiambu, Kakamega, Homa Bay and Machakos counties have been ranked as the highest spenders.

Kiambu spent Sh106 million, Machakos (Sh97.6 million), Kakamega (Sh85 million) while Homa Bay spent Sh79 million.

Counties with no expenditure at all include Turkana and Kirinyaga while those with the lowest expenditures are Bomet with Sh2 million, Bungoma Sh6 million, Kisumu Sh2.1 million, Nyamira Sh1.3 million and Laikipia Sh4.3 million.

 “Total funds that were available from March 13 to July 31, to the county governments for Covid-19 interventions amounted to Sh13.1 billion,” the report.

Release of the report comes at a time health workers have been at loggerheads with the counties over their pay.  Report, however, shows that despite the counties receiving the funds, they only managed to spend a paltry 3.43 billion.

According to the report, in Bomet despite being allocated Sh115.2 million in the Financial Year 2019/20 for corona interventions, the money was not withdrawn from the County Revenue Fund (CRF). Consequently, there was no actual expenditure as of July 31.

Bungoma on the other hand spent Sh18 million for the supply of isolation ward equipment, Sh5.32 million for the supply of hospital beds and Sh15.9 million for renovation of various hospitals including Mien Dispensary, Malakisi Health Centre, Nalondo Health Center, Ngalasia Dispensary and Bumula Hospital at Sh15.9 Million.

Affordable stretchers

With regards to procurement, the county spent Sh 23 million to procure Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Sh23 million for the purchase of affordable stretchers to use at isolation centers, Sh 220 million for the purchase of Pulse oxymeters to monitor Covid-19 patients at isolation centers.

Busia spent Sh 220,00 to buy foldable stretchers for use at isolation canters, Sh 2.5 million for purchase of Pulse oxymeters at isolation centres and health facilities.

In Embu, the county had a budget of Sh141.49 million in the Financial Year 2019/20 but it did not report any actual expenditure as of July 31 towards Covid-19 interventions.

In Kakamega, besides the money spent to pay health care workers, the county has also utilised Sh7.5million on medical supplies while the renovation of treatment centers cost Sh8.5 million. 

The supply of crank and executive beds cost Sh46 million while the complete ICU units cost Sh121 million.

In Kericho, out of total receipts received, Sh12.6 million was used to lay down some infrastructure works in readiness for county containment of the virus and Sh21.7 million on the construction of ICU and isolation wards.

“County appropriated Sh120 million in readiness for the pandemic from its own funds, out of which Sh88.86 million was spent on various activities,” adds the report.

Kwale on the other hand spent Sh14.5 for the purchase of 290 ICU beds, another Sh27.9 million on renovation of corona  centers while Lamu received Sh37.96 million as grants to fight pandemic in the Financial Year 2019/20 but did not utilise the funds.

With respect to Mandera, the county received Sh91.32 million as a grant for corona  from the national government, Sh 91.85 million for allowances for frontline health care workers Sh11.31 million from DANIDA and Sh180 million from county own funds. 

In Nairobi, the county had budgeted to spend Sh164.48 million on Covid-19 interventions from its own sources.

Nyeri spent Sh1.95 million from its own contribution for setting up isolation wards at Mt Kenya Hospital.

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