Siaya health department blamed for the sorry state of county dispensaries
Director Jack Odinga has blamed the Siaya county health department for failing to operate majority of new dispensaries despite the funds being factored in in the previous budgets.
Odinga stated that majority of the facilities are not functioning yet Ksh750,000 was allocated to each facility in the budget of the previous financial years.
“Since 2019, we have been budgeting for the facilities to make them operational but little is done by the department to effect them,” Odinga said adding that in the financial year 2020/2021 alone, they had budgeted for 15 dispensaries but the funds were not spent.
He added that resources have been put in this year’s budget to operationalise for the facilities.
A spot check by the People Daily Digital, established that Bar Owengo dispensary in West Ugenya, lies idle, with its window panes smashed and its doors missing.
The facility is not fenced and seemed abandoned by the health department.
“It is so unfortunate that despite allocating funds to ensure health projects operate, the facilities still remain idle and yet the public wants to see the value for their money,” Odinga said.
Health Chief Officer Eunice Fwaya, dismissed reports that they were not equipping the facilities to make them operational. She said that most of the dispensaries are equipped but not operating due to shortage of health workers.
She added that their budget is constrained and cannot support recruitment of staff that would be deployed in the new facilities.
“We have been equipping the new facilities with the funding of the budget so as to make them operational. It is the shortage of health personnel that has derailed the operation of most facilities,” Fwaya said adding that they cannot continue equipping facilities that lack personnel.
“We had requested the PSB to recruit for us 193 staffs, and through negotiations we settled on recruiting 74 staffs. We expect them at their working stations next weeks,” she added.
Dr Fwaya, while meeting the assembly budget committee in Kisumu on Thursday October 21, said that they project to request Ksh50m to equip 25 new facilities.
“For each new facility to operate, we require at least Ksh2m which is expected to facilitate the purchase of basic equipment for the newly constructed facilities,” Fwaya said adding that they need equipment such as autoclaves, benches, weighing scales among others.