The Kwale county government is shifting its focus to building houses for healthcare workers in all the public health facilities.
The devolved unit will be building the houses for the medical personnel to enable them live near their workplaces.
Area governor Salim Mvurya says his regional administration will be focusing on non-financial incentives for healthcare workers such as housing and accommodation.
He said the focus is on improving rural healthcare through accommodation for health workers thus motivating them.
The governor said lack of on-site accommodation has been identified as a major factor in the difficulty to retain healthcare staff in rural and remote areas despite such places having the greatest health needs.
Mvurya says his administration has invested substantially in building health facilities across the four sub-counties of Matuga, Msambweni, Lunga Lunga, and Kinango.
However, the two-term governor notes that there are ‘gaps and inadequacies’ in housing for the healthcare staff especially those working in far-flung and remote areas of the coastal county.
The governor was speaking on Tuesday during the groundbreaking ceremony for health staff housing quarters in Pangani, Mwereni, and Mtumwa areas of Kinango sub county.
He was accompanied by his deputy Fatuma Achani and Health Executive Committee Member Francis Gwama and several Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).
“This is the way to go to increase the quality of healthcare services to wananchi,” he said during the ceremony.
He went on ‘our desire is to ensure residents get services promptly, our health practitioners to have comfortable houses to live and serve the people in all our health centres’.
The county boss said the construction of the staff houses in the facilities will go a long way in reversing the worrying trend of high maternal and neonatal mortality in the county as expectant mothers will be getting prompt services at all times.
He said health is important for the development of any community hence giving it a priority, and that the county will continue to focus on supporting the health sector as more infrastructure such as the construction of modern maternity wings will be implemented.
On her part the deputy governor said the provision of decent housing and modern maternity wings in most of the facilities are intended to improve services and to ensure all mothers are under the care of skilled birth attendants at the lowest cost possible.
Achani said the dispensaries are a big reprieve to thousands of women and children adding that there is still more to be done to expand access to health services, and promote utilization of antenatal care, deliveries by skilled attendants and post-natal care for communities living in remote and marginalized areas.
She said nurses and midwives are the heart of healthcare and have for long remained undervalued and unappreciated.
By Hussein Abdullahi