Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has appointed a committee to address the sanitary crisis at the Kerugoya level hospital.
In a statement read on her behalf by the county secretary Joe Muriuki, the governor tasked the chief of staff, County executives for environment and gender as well as the chief officer for health to ensure normalcy is restored at the hospital,which has been in a pathetic state for the last two weeks, after the county terminated the contract of over 200 casual workers in the health department within the county.
Muriuki said the hospital sanitary status has been restored to normalcy after the county engaged casuals from the environment department to clean up the hospital which is the largest in the county.
The county chief of staff Selah Bogonko attributed the sacking of the casual workers to the high wage bill especially in the health sector.
“We had over 350 casuals at the Kerugoya level four hospital which has a bed capacity of 200, hence the need to lay them off but we are rationalizing staff to cover every secto,” she said.
Bogonko said the county has taken control of the situation. The Kenya National Union of Nurses had on Saturday given the county government an ultimatum of 72 hours to act or they recall their members for fear of infection of diseases due to poor sanitation.
In an executive order issued on Sunday, Waiguru said due to the recent upgrade of health facilities there has been an influx of patients at the hospitals and health centers within the county.
The governor asked the task force to report back in 14 days on the status of the health sector in the county.
Waiguru said the county wage bill stood at 41 per cent, which is above 35 per cent constitutionally required hence the need to cut down on staff in the county.
“The county is carrying out an audit of all staff in the county to get rid of ghost workers and the staff who have retired but still on the pay roll,” the communiqué read in part.
Bogonko said the county could not rule out sabotage from some quarters she did not name for derailing sanitation at the hospital.
The county assembly’s health committee last week summoned the county secretary and termed him as incompetent for failure to take action on the situation.
Kirinyaga county hospital is currently undergoing an upgrade with the construction of a Sh400 million medical complex that will increase the bed capacity to 500 beds.