The Sh800 million portable clinics remain intact and secured at a government yard in Mombasa.
Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata allayed fears that the clinics have been vandalized saying they were well kept and secured at the National Youth Service (NYS) camp at Miritini area.
Elungata said the delay to deliver the container health clinics to the respective counties was occasioned by investigations conducted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
“Since investigations are almost complete, the health facilities can now be moved to designated counties,” said the Regional Commissioner on Friday when he inspected the clinics.
Elungata was accompanied by Mombasa County Commissioner Evans Achoki, Senior Deputy Director of Medical Services Dr Fridah Govedi, Coast Regional Police Commander Marcus Ocholla and other senior officials from the Ministry of Health.
The portable clinics were procured by the Ministry of Health in 2015 to help increase access to health services in urban counties with huge population in slum areas.
“Our role as regional development committee is to ensure public property is safeguarded and government projects are fully implemented,” said Elungata.
“Our visit here is to confirm these crucial health facilities are intact and secured,” he added.
Elungata’s tour follows a visit by the Parliamentary Committee on Health on Thursday to inspect the clinics which have been stationed at NYS camp for over three years.
The committee raised concerns on the safety and delay to deliver the clinics to the respective counties to start offering the much needed health services to the people.
The first batch of 100 portable clinics arrived in December 2015 to compliment provision of health services at informal settlements in Nairobi, Mombasa and other counties.
Elungata confirmed that the supplier of the clinics (Estama Investments) has a pending bill of Sh200 million but said this would not be paid until all the container clinics were delivered to designated areas.
He asked the Ministry of Health to liaise with county governments and expedite the delivery of the equipment without further delay.
“It is the government’s wish to see that all Kenyans are provided with affordable and quality health services,” added Elungata.
He contended that the government was committed towards achieving universal healthcare and that adequate resources have been allocated to ensure broad coverage of the population.
Dr Govedi confirmed that the clinics were intact and that some of the equipment were put in selected containers to protect them from damage.
“The clinics just need to be assembled and all equipment will be in the right place,” she said.
She noted that the Ministry was determined to see the portable clinics were delivered to counties so Kenyans especially slum dwellers could benefit from the health services.
Dr Govedi said the main objective of the clinics was to provide improved health services to over 71 per cent of the urban dwellers living in slum areas.
“We as a Ministry are equally concerned about the delay but this was due to some factors beyond us. But we will try to find ways to have the clinics transported to designated counties without further delay,” she added.
She said financial implications on transportation of the health equipment and other logistics was the main challenge facing the Ministry but added efforts were being made to ensure they were delivered to the assigned areas as soon as possible.
The health official said the clinics would compliment government health agenda that aimed at ensuring every Kenyan could easily access quality and affordable health services.
“The portable clinics which are fully equipped will hugely improve and expand health services in informal settlements and to the general public,” said Dr Govedi.
“We have already dispatched nine of them to Kibera in Nairobi and area residents are benefitting from these facilities,” she said.
Among the facilities fitted inside the containers includes air conditioners, doctor’s room, waiting area and pharmacy.
The government has included universal health care as part of the Big Four Plan that is aimed at achieving 100 per cent health coverage for every Kenyan by 2022.
Universal healthcare, manufacturing, affordable housing and food security and nutrition are the four key development agenda unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta after assuming office for his second term.
The ambitious programme is meant to improve the lives of Kenyans and spur economic growth of at least seven per cent per year.
By Mohamed Hassan