By Phenice Ouma
The Homa Bay department of health services received the largest share of the county’s budget in the 2021/22 financial year with an allocation of Sh2.6 billion, which is equivalent to 30.5 % of the total budget.
About Sh2.2 billion of the allocation was meant to cater for recurrent expenditure, while the remaining Sh433 million was assigned to handle the capital expenditure.
The county’s main focus with the significant allocation is to provide quality, affordable and accessible healthcare through the construction, rehabilitation and equipping of health facilities. According to the CDIP report, the county health budget between 2018 and 2022 will focus on three main areas as highlighted in the chart below.
There are also plans to complete previous flagship projects, construct facilities at the ward level, renovate and upgrade health facilities, purchase medical equipment and utility vehicles. Already, the government has put in place measures that will stimulate growth, improve access to healthcare, and strengthen the healthcare system as part of implementing the big four agenda.
The department also set aside Sh200 million towards ward-based projects, where each ward was allocated Sh5 million to cater for various development projects.
The county’s focus on improving the health sector can be highlighted by the allocation from the previous financial year. The government recruited 160 technical health staff and completed construction of a morgue and Suba hospital. Furthermore, the county initiated the construction of a theatre at Sena and Ramula health facilities, among others.
Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the county established a ten-bed capacity ICU and ventilators at Homa Bay Teaching and Referral Hospital and a high dependency unit for patients in critical condition.
At the advent of devolution, the county had 1,225 healthcare workers; the number has since increased to 2,135. The number of health facilities has also increased from 143 in 2013 to 210.
Image: A patient during consultation in Homa Bay. Source: Standard.co.ke
This story was produced by Ekialo Ekiona FM in partnership with Code for Africa, Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET) and the Catholic Media Council with support from the German Cooperation as a part of the Our County Our Responsibility project.