• The project is seen as an attempt by Oparanya to woo voters who have been accusing him of failing to initiate any meaningful development in an area he represented as MP for two terms.
• Oparanya said that a modern mortuary under construction at the site is almost complete.
Kakamega county has started construction of a Sh100 million Level 4 hospital in Butere subcounty.
The facility will also serve residents from neighbouring Siaya county.
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya on Tuesday laid a foundation stone for the project at the Butere subcounty headquarters.
The project is seen as an attempt by Oparanya to woo voters who have been accusing him of failing to initiate any meaningful development in an area he represented as MP for two terms.
The governor said the hospital will be completed and fully operational within the next nine months.
"We have decided to set up a modern level 4 hospital here because the existing facility is old and does not have the capacity to adequately serve the increasing number of patients seeking medical care," Oparanya said.
He said a modern mortuary under construction at the site is almost complete.
One of the requirements for a health facility to qualify for a level 4 hospital is that it must have a functional mortuary.
However, the existing level 4 hospitals in the county in Malava, Mumias West and Ikolomani subcounties have no mortuaries.
The hospital was in the eye of the storm early last year after a patient died and was left in the ward with other patients for two days.
Patients have been complaining of lack of drugs in the facility.
The governor was accompanied by his deputy Philip Kutima and ACK Butere Diocese Bishop Rev Rose Okeno.
Oparanya said a Kenya Medical Training College campus will be built in the area to absorb students from the subcounty and beyond.
"Students from the KMTC will be using the hospital for their practical lessons," he said.
Oparanya blamed inconsistent disbursement of funds by the National government to counties for the perennial shortage of medicine and non-pharmaceutical supplies in public hospitals.
He said the shortage of drugs has now been resolved after counties were allowed to purchase drugs and other non-pharmaceuticals from other suppliers other than Kemsa.
Kutima said the county government has invested in the health sector for the last nine years to improve services.
"As a result of the investments the governor has made in the health sector, Kakamega is among the most developed counties in the country," he said.
Kutima asked residents to vote for him to succeed Oparanya. He said he has the experience to continue with the development agenda and legacy of Oparanya.
Edited by A.N