Delayed procurement of medical equipment has delayed the start of operations at the new, major health facilities in Mandera County.
Health minister Mohamed Adan Mohamed gave this explanation on Tuesday, noting the accident and emergency centers in Mandera town and Elwak each cost Sh150 million but do not have equipment.
The county will spend Sh75 million on endoscopy machines for both facilities.
“We are in the process of procuring medical equipment before we can officially launch them,” he said.
“We are procuring equipment in phases. The first batch will be delivered next month and then we will request for the second batch.”
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The county will also need to purchase CT scanners and and renal units.
The minster said Mandera is yet to fully benefit from the national government’s equipment leasing plan that was launched in 2013.
“We have equipment in the maternity and main theatres at Mandera County Referral Hospital and the Elwak and Takaba facilities but they are not enough [given] the number of patients we are handling,” he said.
Mr Mohamed said the national government was yet to provide equipment for the intensive care unit.
Regarding special-skill staff, he said the county was training its own.
“We have been sponsoring our own to study several critical courses for areas in which we have unable to attract staff from other places,” he said.
Mandera has been struggling to higher radiographers, ICU nurses and equipment operators.
Trained staff are hired a job group higher for the sake of retention in semi-arid areas prone to attacks by terror group Al-Shabaab.
The minister said, however, “In the next two years we shall be telling a different story on our health sector since we shall have enough equipment and more than enough staff,” he said