Lamu County Governor, Issa Timamy, has reiterated his administration’s commitment towards the delivery of quality healthcare in the archipelago.
Governor Timamy says his administration will improve healthcare services by employing professional health workers at both basic and comprehensive health centers in the coastal county.
He said one of the top priorities of his administration is to guarantee good health for the people of the coastal county.
Timamy says the King Fahd County Referral Hospital and Faza, Witu and Mpeketoni Sub-County hospitals are among several health facilities in the archipelago set for upgrade.
He spoke to the press on the sidelines of the celebrations of the 20th edition of the Lamu cultural festival organized by the county government.
The Governor who has made a comeback after serving his first term between 2013 and 2017, says he is acutely aware of the inadequate qualified health workers in the health centres across the county.
He said during his first term, a number of development projects such as health, water, agriculture and education had been initiated by his administration to facilitate the people.
The county boss says he is collaborating with the national government to overhaul and refurbish mother and childcare facilities across the archipelago designing them to support the well-being and recovery of expectant mothers and their new born babies.
“Our health facilities would be more effective if we employ and deploy more qualified health workers,” he said.
He noted that few health workers at the health centres could not cope with the increased number of patients visiting them.
“So we are embarking on upgrading the facilities at the health centres and employing qualified health personnel to improve services,” he said, adding that he is determined to dedicate a lot of resources to the health sector.
He says in his first term his administration has expended Sh. 100 million in the construction of the Department of Radiology and imaging, construction of an operating theatre equipped with the latest technology and digital x-ray unit for the first time in Faza.
The Department of pediatric radiology is expected to provide a full range of imaging services for newborns, infants, children and pregnant women.
Timamy says the facilities will enable islanders to get medical attention without traveling to Lamu King Fahad Level 5 Hospital for specialized treatment.
The county boss says the investment in the health sector is expected to bring down maternal deaths in the coastal county.
He says health coverage will remain the primary goal of his administration and as a result would ‘continue to increase access to health services by expanding and upgrading a number of health facilities in the county’.
“We are committed to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health and that is why we are spending a lot of our resources on the sector,”’ he said.
He said before the inception of devolution in 2013 the child mortality rate stood at 70 per cent which has now been reduced to 30 per cent.
The Governor says with the construction of a new theatre and x-ray machines the Witu health centre would be upgraded into a sub-county hospital.
Timamy has emphasized the need for having such facilities within the hospital reckoning that in the past patients seeking specialized treatment had to travel to King Fahad hospital, the county’s referral hospital by boat and sometimes storms stood in their way,
“Health care delivery is a major pillar of my administration because it’s critical to the wellbeing of our people,” he said.
During health emergencies, people living on the remote islands are often referred to hospitals on the mainland for critical care.
They then have to travel by boat across the vast Indian Ocean because many of these remote islands are not interconnected by roads or bridges.
Governor Timamy said the other area of importance that his administration will be focusing on is in the water and sanitation sector by receiving more funding.
Timamy noted that Lamu is suffering from intensified water shortages as a result of climate change and the ongoing large infrastructural development projects in the region.
“Water scarcity in Lamu has been a lingering challenge but we commit to rehabilitation, upgrade and expand existing water supply systems to make water readily available to every household in the archipelago,” he said adding that he is committed to ensuring quick execution of long term water projects.
By Hussein Abdullahi