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Minister wants referral hospitals decongested

Dickens Wasonga @PeopleDailyKe

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki yesterday said the Universal Health Care plan will only succeed if more health facilities are established to decongest referral hospitals.

She spoke in Kisumu when she launched a 200-bed capacity health facility as part of the UHC programme.

Kisumu is one of the four counties that have been picked for piloting of the UHC plan.

So far, Kisumu has enrolled 117,000 households as contributors for the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) since the recruitment drive began.

Kisumu County Executive Committee member for Health Rosemary Obara said 240,000 households are targeted ahead of the official launch of UHC.

Speaking at Lumumba Hospital, Kariuki urged county governments to increase the number of health facilities to decongest Level-Five referral hospitals, which she said were grappling with a huge number of patients.

Phase One of the Lumumba Hospital project, which began one year ago cost Sh116 million, was funded under the Kisumu Urban project in collaboration with the French Development Agency.

The hospital will have a maternity wing and a female surgical section with a capacity to handle 40 deliveries at ago for Caesarian section cases, according to the Kisumu city manager Doris Ombara.

It will also have an ultra modern theater, a 40-bed capacity male ward and a 120-bed children ward. It will also have an extra ablution block.

Phase two of the project, which will cost Sh65 million, will start soon and will be used as a cancer screening center, according to Ombara

Kariuki decried the increasing cases of new HIV infections among the youth. She said new infection cases among the young people in the ages between 18-25 were over 50 per cent which was alarming.

She said the government plans to establish youth friendly hospitals where young people can seek services.

She lauded the launch of adolescent and young people’s health policy by the county government of Kisumu, saying it was timely given the rising cases of teenage pregnancies in the country.

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