What you need to know:
- Governor Njuki said the rains, as they did in 1997, would come with various diseases and it was important that the two levels of government are not found flat-footed.
- Mr Njuki urged his colleagues to ensure their counties are prepared for the El Nino by contributing to the kitty that will be coordinated at the national level.
Governors have called for a special fund to be set up to deal with diseases that may arise from the expected El Nino rains.
Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki, who chairs the Council of Governors’ health committee, said the fund should be established through a consultative process between the national and county governments.
Speaking during the flagging off of about 100,000 community health promoters (CHPs) kits to be distributed to the 47 counties, Mr Njuki said the rains, as they did in 1997, would come with various diseases and it was important that the two levels of government are not found flat-footed.
He said the CHPs, expected to be the first point of call for families, need to be adequately kitted to avoid exposing themselves diseases. Each CHP is expected to be in charge of 100 families.
Equating the 100,000 CHPs to an army that will be tasked with controlling the spread of diseases, Mr Njuki noted that there was a clear need for adequate and planning.
“These people are going to play a very critical role in the season we are going into, the El Nino season. El Nino usually comes with a lot of diseases that spread at an alarming rate,” said Mr Njuki.
“We ask that the fund finds its way to the counties and it will give counties a boost that will assist these CHPs to work better,” he added.
Mr Njuki urged his colleagues to ensure their counties are prepared for the El Nino by contributing to the kitty that will be coordinated at the national level.
The proposal received the backing of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who called for a high-level multi-agency meeting tomorrow at his Karen residence to deliberate on the matter. The meeting will also bring together governors to come up with measures to mitigate the effects of the impending El Nino rains.
President William Ruto has also said that his government will ensure the stipend for the CHPs is released on time. It has been proposed that the national and county governments contribute equally for the CHPs payments.
“In that aspect of the stipend, let us incorporate NHIF (National Health Insurance Fund), and pay it upfront for the CHPs so that they enjoy a comprehensive cover throughout the year,” Mr Njuki suggested.