CS Kagwe absolves counties over delays to pay salaries to medical workers

Mr Mutahi Kagwe, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Health

“The National government will fully support the county government of Trans Nzoia with substantial funds to be able to cover for at least some level of preparedness,” CS Kagwe

                     By Sirengo Namasaka

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has absolved devolved units from blame over delays in salaries to medical personnel who have threatened to go on strike. The CS said the government was ready to listen to the grievances of the medics and asked them not to abdicate their cardinal call of service delivery to the common mwananchi who is under threat as the positivity rate of the coronavirus pandemic rises.

 Mr Kagwe was speaking at the Trans Nzoia County Teaching and referral hospital in Kitale on Friday where he said the government was committed to its pledge to revitalizing the primary health care system to benefit all Kenyans. The CS, while responding to questions from the reports said his ministry was prepared to closely work with the county government of Trans Nzoia which he praised for putting up a state of the art teaching and referral hospital ready to serve the north rift, Bungoma and other neighbouring countries of Uganda and southern Sudan. He pledged the national governments willingness to fully equip the hospital.

Patrick Khaemba Governor Trans Nzoia County

 “The National government will fully support the county government of Trans Nzoia with substantial funds to be able to cover for at least some level of preparedness,” said Kagwe. The CS added that the government had prioritised having all Kenyans including those above 58 years to be vaccinated, insisted that the ongoing exercise would follow set guidelines.

 He said those aged 58 or above contribute 60 per cent of the fatalities in Kenya, noting that the elderly who account for 16 per cent of the infected must be given priority on matters vaccination. The COVID-19 Vaccine Development Task Force chairman Dr Willis Akhwale who accompanied the CS said the government received the first batch of the Moderna vaccines which he said would boost plans to at least enable 10 million people to get vaccinated by the end of this year.

 He said the Moderna vaccine which is the second type of the covid 19 vaccines to arrive in the country will greatly help the government achieve its goal. He added that the government has continued receiving other different brands of vaccines and challenged many Kenyans who are asking the government to allow them to choose which vaccines to be vaccinated with ” to shelve their ego”.

  ” It is not a question of which vaccine out of the many that have been procured by the ministry, we will not allow you to choose which to be vaccinated with”, said Dr Akhwale while answering questions jointly with the health CS.  Dr Akhwale said the government has enough storage facilities for the Moderna vaccine, which requires it to be stored at -20 degrees centigrade.

On the efficacy of the vaccines, Dr Akhwale said, “All these vaccines are the same. They all prevent severe disease and death caused by the coronavirus.  Trans nzoia county governor Patrick Khaemba thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta and the national government through the cabinet secretary of health Mutai Kagwe for providing additional health care professionals through the universal health care coverage ( UHC) programme.

 The county boss said his government was committed to continuously improve healthcare services and had already provided twenty-nine per cent of its total budget to the department of health.

 ” My government is calling upon the national government and other stakeholders to partner with us to help improve and provide quality health care services”, he said.  He said the Trans Nzoia county teaching and referral hospital which has a 400-bed capacity will be providing specialized medical services such as renal care and dialysis, specialized surgeries through 8 modern theatres, specialized paediatric services among others.

 The county of Trans nzoia according to the governor has processed 12,678 samples of covid 19, out of which 1,698 cases have been confirmed positive with 13.4 per cent. The county has to date recorded 52 deaths while 14 cases are still hospitalized with 2 at the Mt. Elgon Hospital, 1 at the Kitale main prison isolation facility while 11 are on the home-based care.

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