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Modern medical equipment lying idle for lack of power

Crucial medical equipment donated by the national government for Siaya county referral hospital are lying idle due to lack of electricity, county development implementation and development committee (CDICC) has learnt.

According to the hospital superintendent, Dr. George Nyakiti, a CT scan equipment has not been put to use after the county government failed to purchase a step down switch that the Kenya Power Company needed to install large capacity transformer to run modern equipment.

Briefing CDICC members, led by the chairman, Michael ole Tialal who were on an inspection of national government funded projects in the county Friday, Nyakiti said that patients requiring CT scan have to be referred to hospitals in Kisumu or elsewhere as a result.

“The other alternative is to use a generator which we cannot because of budget constraints” said the medic.

He said that the hospital had taken up the matter with the county government, seeking procurement of the switch that costs Sh4.5 million that will be used to upgrade power supply to the hospital.

Nyakiti said that though devolution had advantages, it was a challenge to the health sector as they could not get crucial supplies and resources when required.

“We have to go through the county government for almost everything and they take their time and at times do not prioritise our needs” he said.

As an example, said Nyakiti, the power supply to the hospital had been disconnected for non payment of bills.

The county Chief Officer for Health Dr. Omondi Owino said that the department of health had included the purchase of the switch in its budget for the current financial year.

He confirmed that several health facilities across the county, among them Ugunja and Bondo sub county hospitals have had their power supplies disconnected, adding that they had to plead with Kenya Power to spare the county referral hospital.

CDICC chairman, Michael ole Tialal who is also the Siaya County Commissioner urged the county government to hasten the procurement of the critical equipment so that the Medical Equipment Services could benefit the public.

Apart from inspecting the equipment at the hospital, the CDICC team that included the county police commander, Francis Kooli among others, also toured the proposed Ugunja /Sega/Ukwala water project and the Ugunja -Ukwala – Rwambwa road.

By Philip Onyango

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