Vihiga county government has been expanding health facilities in a bid to reduce pressure on the county referral hospital in Mbale town.
Consequently, there was ongoing expansion and upgrading works in health facilities across the county not only to get the services closer to the people, but also improve the quality of the services.
For instance, construction of the upcoming Hamisi sub county hospital theatre is at an advanced stage. The theatre block has two operating rooms, two 12-bed capacity wards for both male and female, a laundry room, gas room, surgeons’ offices and a nurse station.
According to the County Director of Health Services (CDHS) Dr. Eric Sikuku, they have achieved the World Health Organization (WHO) requirement that people should at most cover five Kilometres to reach a health facility.
The county covers an area of 563.8 square Kilometers with a population of 590, 189 people and a population density of 1,046 people per square Kilometre, according to the 2019 census results.
Dr. Sikuku says the county government has constructed 19 health facilities in a bid to boost healthcare for the residents in the past four years. “The county currently has 43 health facilities including three hospitals, 18 health centres and 22 dispensaries,” he said.
He added that his department has also hired 163 health workers in various cadres so as to ensure the patients are properly attended to.
At the same time, the county entered into a partnership with Fistula Foundation (FF) last October, which saw a free fistula treatment service launched at Vihiga County Referral Hospital (VCRH).
The governor-elect Dr. Wilber Ottichilo recently commissioned Evoji dispensary in Bendera area of Sabatia Sub County, where he pledged to upgrade it to a health centre to enable residents’ access 24-hours services.
A 90-bed capacity ward is being constructed at Emuhaya sub county hospital in Luanda Sub County.
The hospital has a Blood Transfusion Unit (BTU), laboratory and an X-ray machine room to serve the Emuhaya-Luanda catchment area and environs.
The county administration has also stationed a container clinic at Shaviringa in Shiru location in Hamisi Sub County, which operates on Mondays and Wednesdays.
By Sammy Mwibanda