- Dr Ganda dismissed allegations that there has been a rapid deterioration of the health sector over the last 10 years.
- He said there has been marked improvement in health indicators through which health systems are measured.
Kisumu county government has denied claims by Kenya medical practitioners and dentists union over the shortage of doctors and lack of basic amenities in health facilities.
County health executive Dr Gregory Ganda has faulted KMPDU senior official Dr Onyango Ndong’a who was quoted making unverified allegations regarding health service delivery in Kisumu.
Dr Ganda dismissed allegations that there has been a rapid deterioration of the health sector over the last 10 years.
He said there has been marked improvement in health indicators through which health systems are measured.
“We would like to point out that health systems are measured using indicators that are verifiable. Our country uses Kenya demographic health surveys periodically to assess the progress of the sector,” he said.
Dr Ganda said there has been increased access to healthcare which is the primary role of the Health department based on the Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) done in 2014 and 2022.
The health facility deliveries have increased from 69 percent to 94 percent, nutrition interventions have led to a reduction in stunting from 18 percent to 9 percent and a reduction in unmet need for family planning from 24 percent to 10 percent.
Dr Ganda noted that there has also been an approximate 30 percent reduction in mortality over the same period.
“The maternal mortality ratio has reduced from 495 deaths/ 100,000 live births to 343 deaths/ 100,000 live births, the infant mortality rate from 54 to 39 per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality rate from 79 to 63 deaths per 1,000 live births,” he said.
The medic attributed these outcomes to increased investment in new health facilities across the county, increased human resources for health, expanded coverage of community health services and health system strengthening initiatives.
"Dr Ganda pointed out that there has been increased investment in the health sector over the years contrary to the allegations.
“Yearly approved county budgets are uploaded on the county website and are left available online,” he said.
He said there has been considerably increased investment in the health sector over the years.
The 2018 approved budget for health was Sh3.1 billion whereas the approved 2020/21 budget was Sh4 billion representing a cumulative 30 percent increase over 3 years.
The budget for human resources for health has increased by 50 percent from Sh1.9 billion in 2018/19, Sh2. 6 billion in 2019/2020 and Sh 2.9 billion in 2020/2021.
The county also denied allegations that there are no basic amenities in health facilities.
“Kisumu is one of the few counties in the country that has promoted ring-fencing of health funds and granted health facilities semi-autonomy in financial operations through the facility improvement fund act applicable since 2021,” he said.
He stated that level four facilities in Kisumu retain 100 percent of the revenue they collect and these funds are primarily budgeted for and expended by the facilities based on their documented needs.
Additionally, Dr Ganda said the county has channelled additional funds to these facilities to cushion them against subsidized costs and exceptions.
In the 2021/2022 financial year, 22 level four facilities collected and retained Sh150 million, which is three times what was collected over the same period in 2020/21 financial year.
This, Ganda said, translated to a 50 percent increase from the last financial year.
Over the last six months, the county government has sent Sh66 million directly to these facilities for their expenditures.
“Each level 4 facility in Kisumu has an account with Kenya medical supplies Authority (Kemsa) and is able to order directly and make payments,” he said.
He revealed that the county directly reimburses facilities for Indigents covered under the Marwa scheme as of December.
“There is no primary health facility is owed for any amount spent on clients covered under the MARWA scheme,” Ganda said.
He noted that facility health management teams are able to budget and purchase supplies to cater for their needs through these multiple funding mechanisms.
Ganda said Ahero county hospital has increased both workload and collections fourfold, Kombewa County Hospital fivefold, Gita sub-county hospital - threefold, and Chulaimbo county hospital twofold.
Lumumba sub-county hospital threefold, Muhoroni sub-county hospital threefold and Nyakach sub-county hospital twofold just over the past year.
He termed the strong indication of increased healthcare access for the population.
Ganda also denied claims that Jaramogi Oginga Teaching and Referral Hospital has only 8 medical officers against a requirement of 100.
“As per staffing norms of the ministry of health, a level 5 hospital requires 50 Medical Officers which KMPDU has incorrectly stated as 100,” he said.
Dr Ganda said the eight medical officers stated by Dr Ndong’a excluded 10 medical officer interns, four medical officers engaged directly by the hospital and 38 doctors on training in the hospital, also referred to as residents.
Currently, he said the hospital has 42 medical specialists (consultants) giving an average of one specialist for every 10 beds.
He revealed that the county has released 57 doctors on full pay to national referral hospitals and out of the country for further training as a recognition of the need to expand health services to provide specialized and super speciality services.
“All the data available shows a formidable and resilient healthcare system that is improving under very able and progressive county leadership,” Ganda said.
He reassured that the county was committed to providing quality health care to residents.
"We will continue to engage in consultations with all health workers on the best way to sustain the provision of these services,” Ganda said.