Health suf­fers while Sh5­bil­lion could help

Jama says women giv­ing birth at home, for lack of good, free ma­ter­nity ser­vices

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - STEPHEN ASTARIKO @stephenAs­tariko

When coun­ties ask for money for health, they are told there is none, all the while it’s be­ing mis­spent at the min­istry, Garissa Gover­nor Nathif Jama has said.

“This latest scan­dal in such a cru­cial docket has left many Kenyans an­gry and shocked,” he said.

The Health min­istry says no money has been lost, there are no im­pro­pri­eties and no scan­dal.

Jama said the lose of Sh5.2 bil­lion has a rip­ple ef­fect in all health fa­cil­i­ties across the coun­ties. He said Garissa has in two years only re­ceived Sh11 mil­lion for free ma­ter­nity care.

Jama said Sh74 mil­lion for 2014-15 and 2015-16 has not been re­leased. The min­istry pays Sh2,500 for each hos­pi­tal de­liv­ery.

Ev­ery fa­cil­ity is paid ac­cord­ing to the num­ber of de­liv­er­ies it han­dles. Jama said it is un­for­tu­nate that such colos­sal amounts of money are lost while the com­mon cit­i­zen con­tin­ues to suf­fer for lack of good med­i­cal ser­vices.

He said ser­vices have been ham­pered in 99 fa­cil­i­ties for lack of funds and the county is forced to with­draw money for other projects to sup­port them.

Jama said moth­ers shy away from hos­pi­tals and give birth at home be­cause of poor ser­vices. He said this will lead to an in­crease in ma­ter­nal and in­fant deaths.

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta’s sis­ter and cousin have been linked to the com­pa­nies in­volved in ques­tion­able ten­der­ing and pay­outs at the Health min­istry.

WHEN THE COUN­TIES ASK FOR HEALTH MONEY, WE ARE TOLD THERE IS NONE, ALL THE WHILE IT IS BE­ING MIS­SPENT

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