Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga lauded Mombasa County leadership for its life changing value addition initiative geared towards uplifting the standard of living of its citizens.
This is after Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho officially opened a one-of-a-kind Cath lab machine at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Raila was awestruck by the tremendous achievements and transformation the county government has made at the hospital while he visited.
In his excitement, the former prime minister paid for the outstanding hospital bills for all the patients who were to be discharged on Thursday but could not due to financial constraints, and ordered them released back home.
Raila who was hosted at the facility by Governor Joho as the official chief guest in the launch of the cath lab machine at the facility, lauded devolution saying it is because of it that several counties across the country have made tremendous achievements in various sectors.
He urged locals to support his and the President’s idea of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) saying an increase of the county allocation of 15 percent to a minimum of 35 per cent will yield more results in terms of development.
“What we have seen here in Mombasa today shows us that devolution can work. We had a lot of challenges before devolution such as lack of adequate equipment in our hospitals, no drugs and doctors, but now there is a big change not only in Mombasa but also other parts of the country,” said Raila.
He advocated for the public to accept the BBI saying it will cover some of the loopholes that devolution failed to address.
“let’s address some of the challenges we are still facing as a country by passing on of the BBI, it is now in recess since we have appealed the High Court’s ruling, but once it comes back, let’s embrace it,” he noted.
The former PM also said that he has not yet declared his interest in being a presidential candidate for 2022 general elections and his move to support BBI with the president is only for the greater good of the people of Kenya.
“I have not announced that I will run for presidency come 2022, let me concentrate on BBI first. To those panicking that they are not going to support me in the race, I am telling them to cool down, it’s still early,” he said.
On his part, governor Joho said that he saw the need to bring the cath lab machine to Coast General hospital after cases of cardiac patients asking for contributions to go for treatment in India were on the rise.
Joho said soon the county government will be opening up radiotherapy since the hospital is now getting a lot of referrals from private hospitals.
He praised his government for making tremendous progress especially in the health sector despite the little resources available.
“The Coast General Hospital I met in 2013 when I was first elected as governor is not the same now. I am now a happy person as we have every specialist at the hospital including plastic surgeons,” said Joho.
By Chari Suche