Homa Bay begins construction of Sh200m accident, emergency centre
The Homa Bay County government has moved a step closer to establishing a level five hospital after Governor Gladys Wanga launched the construction of a Sh200 million accident and emergency centre.
The new unit, which is being put up at the Homa Bay County Teaching and Referral Hospital, will take 18 months to complete.
Already the contractor has begun demolishing an old building that served the same purpose. Ms Wanga said the old building was an embarrassment to her administration.
“We are tired of being associated with bad things. That is why we are putting our best foot forward to address the challenges,” she said.
After the construction of the new building, the county government will then ask the national government to elevate the status of the hospital to enable the health facility.
During the groundbreaking ceremony of the new block on Wednesday, Ms Wanga said her administration will strive to ensure all Homa Bay County residents access quality health services.
She was accompanied by the director of medical services at the Ministry of Health Dr Andrew Mulwa.
Mr Mulwa assured the Homa Bay County government that the central government will support health services at the devolved unit.
Part of the support includes paying stipends to community health volunteers (CHV).
This is after the current administration started paying the 2,954 CVHs Sh2,000 each per month besides enrolling them in the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Dr Mulwa said the state will allocate Sh2,000 per month for each CHV in Homa Bay.
"We will have a database which will be used to pay the workers," he said.
The county will also get technical support at the hospital.
Dr Mulwa added that the new facility will be equipped by the state.
"Public health facilities should be able to offer the same service as the one offered at private facilities. This will ensure we achieve universal health coverage," he said.
Ms Wanga said the five-storey building will be opened in October next year.
Already the county assembly led by Speaker Julius Gaya has committed that MCAs will set aside funds for the project.
The governor said her administration will embark on other health projects as well. Among them is establishing a child and mother hospital.
This is meant to reduce the burden that is at the maternity unit at the referral hospital.
According to Ms Wanga, the antenatal clinic currently handles cases three times its capacity.
"We want to make the referral hospital to be a place where complicated cases are handled. It should not be for all ailments that can be handled at the lower facilities," she said.
Other plans are putting up a new mortuary.
"We will also focus on level two and three hospitals to ensure they can accommodate patients as well," Ms Wanga said.