Ministry to start using 100 container clinics

Procured four years ago, they are lying idle

In Summary

• MP Martin-Peters Owino says the ministry has an option to either deploy the clinics or dispose of them.

• Ministry says they will be placed in strategic areas within informal settlements in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

Health PS Susan Mochache
MOBILE CLINICS: Health PS Susan Mochache
Image: FILE

 The  government will spend another Sh666 million to make use of the 100 container clinics bought in 2015.

The mobile clinics, idle for four years, cost Sh1 billion.

The Sh666 million will be enough to furnish and run the clinics for one year, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said. 

She said the ministry will hire 400 health workers at Sh336 million to operate the clinics for 12 months.

"The programme will recruit four personnel including two nurses, a clinical officer and a laboratory technologist for each portable clinic," she told the National Assembly Committee on Health on Tuesday.

Medical supplies for all the clinics for one year will cost Sh180 million while Sh150 million will be spent on transportation, ground preparation including construction of toilets, waiting bay,  installation of water, electricity and fences.

Mochache said the new leadership at the ministry had decided to use the clinics to support the universal health coverage. 

"The ministry would like to make this venture a special national portable clinics programme for delivery of UHC offering primary health care services to Kenyans living in informal settlements and hard to reach areas," she said. 

Ninety nine of the containers are stored at the National Youth Service camp in Miritini while one is at Kasarani where it also remains unused.

The clinics  were to be placed in strategic areas within informal settlements in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

The supplier, Estama Investments, was to supply, install, commission and hand over the clinics at a cost of Sh1 billion.

The ministry paid Sh800 million for the  clinics in 2015. On Tuesday, MPs said a Sh200 million balance is pending. 

Each container is already stocked with executive chairs, patient chair, portable toilet and clinical devices.

There is also a hospital bed, weighing machine, table unit, a computer, air conditioner, sink, syringes and well-designed visitor waiting bay.

The containers, sourced from China, are said to be vital and include kits for improving child and maternal care.

MP Martin-Peters Owino said the ministry had an option to either deploy the clinics or dispose of them. 

"A decision has to be made because this issue has taken too long," he said.

Kasarani MP Mercy Gakuya said the project was still viable and should be completed immediately. 

"The clinic at Kasarani should be stocked so that we can start serving people," she said. 

Mochache said the improvement of health services in slums was captured in the ministry's Medium Term plan II and the Vision 2030.