The National Government in conjunction with Council of Governors (CoG) and the Busia County Government has embarked on a programme to ease congestion by expanding bed capacity at the Busia County Referral Hospital (BCRH).
The construction of the Sh100 million Medical Male Surgical Ward at the county hospital will strengthen provision of quality health services to the area residents.
The County Chief Officer for Health and Sanitation Jonathan Ino, acknowledged that there was acute shortage of beds in the local public hospitals.
For instance, BCRH initially had only 60 beds in the male surgical ward, hence the expected additional 48 more beds will be a big boost to the county health sector.
“There will be enough space to accommodate patients who require surgery,” said Ino, noting that the current space being used for the same purpose will be utilized for other services that will be beneficial to the people, once the new facility is complete.
“The male ward block will cost Sh64 million. We shall also be able to operationalize the Intensive Care Unit by doing the gas reticulation storage at a cost of Sh6.5 million as well as install a standby generator with a capacity of 450 kVA at a cost of Sh11 million among other undertakings,” added the chief officer.
Most of the patients in the male ward have suffered fractures and other injuries as a result of motorcycle accidents and fights.
The only place where patients are not made to share a bed is the Intensive Care Unit because each patient there is on life-support machines which cannot be shared.
There are times when you find up to two people sharing a bed in male surgical ward, while others sleep on the floor, but because it is a referral hospital, patients cannot be turned away.
The county has been improving the level 4 medical facilities at the sub county hospitals among other strategies to ensure that congestion is reduced at the BCRH.
“We have identified seven sub-county hospitals and upgraded them to level five and four and fully equipped them to attend to all referrals so that we reduce the overcrowding and sharing of beds in most of the facilities within the town,” Ino said.
The Chief Officer of Health was speaking at the BCRH during site inspection of the project, accompanied by the Directors Dr Janerose Ambuchi (Medical Services) and Dr Melsah Lutomia (Preventive and Promotive Services), County Health Administrative Officer Ali Atemba and the Acting Medical Superintendent Dr Emma Namulala among others.
Ino said that the existing asbestos on roofs within the BCRH will be removed for purposes of installing the pre-painted steel sheet.
The contractor, Peter Mugoya, trading as Petmart Services Limited said he will ensure that the project is complete by June 30th this year based on the existing agreement to pave the way for the official commissioning.
By Absalom Namwalo and Cynthia Wandera