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By Eric Omwombo 

Governor James Orengo has assured Siaya residents of quality healthcare and the availability of commodities in the second year of his era.

Orengo said to ensure all the existing dispensaries operate, he has directed leadership at the health docket to consider prioritizing equipping already existing health facilities alongside building new ones.

“While we think about building more hospitals, we must quickly utilize the capacity that we have already. Because it will be a lack of prioritisation if you have a wholly built health facility with all equipment that you need there and yet you cannot operationalize it, yet prioritize the construction of new hospitals.”

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Last week, Orengo noted that the majority of the dispensaries are unable to function due to a lack of equipment and staff.

He noted that the facility, if fully operational, will provide good healthcare services to the people in the region.

“My government will go slow on building new dispensaries until the existing ones get equipped.

So far, 150 new staff have been recruited under the leadership of Orengo.

Orengo’s move was welcomed by Health Executive Dr Konyango who said that for the past year, they have been equipping the facilities to take them operational.

Dr Konyango at the same time said that theft of drugs at the facilities has reduced significantly.

It is estimated that each year, drugs purchased by the government and that which was donated like malaria treatment tablets were being stolen.

In Siaya, as is the case with most
counties, hundreds of thousands of people rely on government or subsidised health care, but the theft of these drugs from government clinics – which are then diverted, repackaged and sold for a premium price- is putting lives at risk.

The government of Siaya has adopted a comprehensive drug monitoring technology that has tamed the theft of drugs.

The technology has ensured the monitoring of the flow of drugs right from government stores to patients at health facilities up to the last tablet. It is working wonders, with cases of empty shelves at public hospitals reducing, and more patients now saying they can easily access prescription drugs at government pharmacies.

The technology is a cloud-based software platform that is used simultaneously by health facilities, public medical Stores, Ministry of Health.

‘It tracks the supply chain of medicines and medical supplies from national medical stores to local stores, and health facilities and finally to how those medicines have been dispensed to patients. It then can generate a series of intelligence reports that can help show if there is a probability of theft in any part of that supply chain.

Konyango noted that the budget of the commodities has improved and funds have been ring-fenced.

“The drug shortage has reduced in Siaya. Even before it depletes from the stores, we order for the commodities,” said Konyango adding that the Nyalore government has been increasing the allocation for drugs latest being Sh 100 million.

Dr Konyango said “This year, we have ongoing projects that we are optimistic will be completed, equipped and made to operate.
“We are implementing the construction of a surgical complex at Siaya referral hospital. We recently witnessed the ground-breaking of the Yala Maternity and the contractor is on-site,” said Konyango.
We are jointly funding 150 million Urenga level III hospitals with the National government.

We are also going to do a funeral parlour in Siaya town and once we are done we shall prioritize Bondo for the project,” said Konyango.

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