The national government is on a fact-finding mission in Kiambu county where health facilities are overwhelmed, mainly by patients from Nairobi.
The officials hope to find ways to reduce overcrowding.
Health CS Sicily Kariuki toured Kiambu county hospitals on Wednesday. She spoke to patients, some who were from Nairobi and other neighbouring counties.
The CS said the influx has led to a major shortage of drugs supply and has stretched human resource.
“Kiambu has had a major challenge of patients seeking treatment in droves from hospitals within the county and outside. As a result, drugs get depleted,” Kariuki said.
She said she will meet Nairobi governor Mike Sonko to help put up a referral hospital in Kiambu to ease pressure on Kenyatta National Hospital.
“It is important that Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu and Sonko come together under my coordination and address the issue of decongestion,” Kariuki said.
She said county governments should continue investing in hospital infrastructure to ensure patients easily access services.
Kariuki said the national government will assist counties in training and retaining community health workers, as the country has a shortage of health workers.
“We need to invest in community health workers to help in family health and assist at the grassroots level. This will reduce overcrowding in some hospitals,” she said.
Kariuki said Kiambu ranks above all other counties in immunisation coverage.
The national government has donated 74 refrigerators to store vaccines and a motorcycle for the immunisation supervisor.
can’t send patients away
Governor Waititu and county assembly majority leader Anthony Ikonya said Kiambu hospitals deliver good services and have medicines. They said, however, there is a staffing challenge.
“We cannot send away patients and this has depleted the health budget get depleted. Six level 5 hospitals are being constructed and we buy medicines,” Governor Waititu said.
He urged the national government to create awareness forums at the grassroots and make cancer screening free in all hospitals.
“Cancer is a major ailment claiming the lives of many people in Kiambu,” Waititu said.