Since 2013, the County has made major milestones in the provision of health care, top among them being the reduction of the average distance covered by residents while seeking medical services.
This has been reduced from 8 Kilometres to 3.7 Kilometres as a result of expansion of facility based services across the County, almost achieving the recommended distance by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on distance to access of health care.
Health facilities in Elgeyo Marakwet increased from 86 in 2013 to 129 in 2018 thus improving access to health services. Opening up of new roads by the County has also improved access to health facilities. To cater for the new facilities, we further increased the number of staff by 135 in 2014.
“But we are still faced with shortages especially nurses and we hope to get more funding in the County to absorb more health personnel,” said Health CEC Kiprono Chepkok.
Significant progress was also made in the rehabilitation of infrastructure in existing health facilities and supply of new equipment.
“We constructed three new outpatient department blocks, 5 maternal child health and family planning units, 15 maternity units, 22 emergency delivery rooms, 7 laboratories, 6 inpatient wards, 7 new theatres, 18 staff houses in rural facilities and purchased 8 ambulances,” said the CEC.
The County has ensured sufficient supply of medicines over the years, thus minimizing stock outs. Cumulatively over Ksh 500 million was spent over the last five years on medical drugs alone.
“As a matter of fact, Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) reported in the media recently that we were the only County without any debts to the agency and we had even paid in excess to ensure we do not run out of medicines,” said the CEC.
The County has also supported the establishment of community health units in all wards through the purchase of 14 motorbikes for community health extension workers, 300 community health volunteer kits and payment of incentives to 250 CHVs for referrals.
“We also initiated medical camps in conjunction with partners such as Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital among others to bring medical services even closer to wananchi. These camps have proved beneficial to our people down at the grassroots,” said Chepkok.
In partnership with the national government, the County has since operationalized the renal unit, upgraded the radiology units at the Iten County Referral Hospital and Chebiemit Sub County hospital. The installation of the CT scan at ICRH has been completed.
The mortuary at ICRH has been improved and rebranded to Iten Funeral Home with more and new cold storage facilities that ensure services are modern while the environment is conducive. Other facilities have been established in Tot (Marakwet East) and Kamwosor in Keiyo South respectively.