Busia County residents have been urged to observe Ministry of Health guidelines on combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the residents of Amukura Central ward during the official opening of Odeng’ero dispensary on Monday, the Busia Deputy Governor (DG), Moses Mulomi told residents that the disease is real and added there is need for all residents to be protected.
“Some of us think that the youth cannot be affected by the virus,” he posed, explaining that a number of youth have died of the virus.
Mulomi said careless youth risked infecting elderly persons with underlying conditions like hypertension with the virus back at home.
He at the same time advised the local residents to eat traditional food, adding that 26 percent of the local residents were malnourished.
The DG pointed out that the County has a challenge of insufficient drugs in its health facilities due to low budgetary allocation.
“As a County we require a total of Sh.460 million for drugs every financial year but during the last fiscal year, only Sh.200 million was allocated,” he said.
Mulomi promised that the Executive will work closely with the Members of the County Assembly to ensure that the budgetary allocation is increased so that all health facilities have enough drugs throughout the year.
“We must work together to ensure that budgetary allocation for drugs is increased with a view to offer quality health services to the local residents,” he said.
The Busia Chief Officer for Medical Services, Isaac Omeri said that the launch of the Dispensary was in line with the National government policy on Universal Health Care, stating that Kenyans should have access to health care provision within a distance of 5-kilometre radius.
“From here to Amukura or Apokor dispensary is a long distance,” he said adding that the County government is committed to ensuring that local residents do not travel long distances in search of health services.
Dr Omeri noted that there are other dispensaries within the Sub County that are yet to be completed.
“We have also agreed that the Amukura health centre will be elevated to a Sub County hospital and Obekai dispensary will be elevated to a health centre,’ he said .
He reiterated that the aim of establishing dispensaries is to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
The Chief Officer disclosed that 48 local residents had tested positive for Covid-19, adding that the infection rate may spread like bush fire if residents do not take necessary precautions.
Local residents lauded the County for the initiative adding that it will relieve them from the agony of travelling long distances while seeking health services.
The facility that was initiated by the Busia Governor, Sospeter Ojaamong in 2008, stalled after the inception of devolution only to be revamped by the current area MCA, Moses Papa.
The County Government has deployed two nurses at the facility to offer basic health services and refer complicated cases to higher-level facilities like health centres, Sub County hospitals and County Referral hospital.
By Salome Alwanda