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World Bank Transforming Health Service-Universal Care Funds Safe, Says Somoire

The county government has refuted claims its health sector has been held hostage by cartels eyeing World Bank’s universal care funds channeled to the region.

Instead, county health minister Esther Somoire, claimed in her communiqué to the media that those spreading rumours and tarnishing the name of the county are part of a wider cartel that supported impunity before the new regime came in place.

Somoire on Monday made it clear that the county’s chief nurse, Eileen Sawani (pictured above) has never been involved in the management of the World Bank funds channeled to the county.

She said all the money from the donor is channeled through the county revenue account and is managed by the finance department, and not an individual.

The World Bank’s development objective of the Transforming Health Systems for Universal Care Project for Kenya is to improve utilization and quality of primary health care (PHC) services with a focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH) services.

“We have internal and outside structures to check out on its expenditure. These funds are then channeled to the facilities across the county with strict instructions that those manning those structures out there adhere to transparent accounting of the same,” said Somoire.

She said a nurse (name withheld), who was recently transferred from the county headquarters, is the former focal person to the fund THS-UC and hence her involvement in giving vital/confidential information about the department.

The signatories of the account are Chief Officer, Medical Services and Finance alongside the county director of health services.

The Minister linked the rumours of alleged corruption in the county health sector making rounds in social media to some of the staff recently transferred to new stations.

“There has been impunity in the sector before the new regime came in, and the same people who have been perpetuating that feel offended when we try to transform the sector and makes more vibrant and responsive to the needs of Kajiado residents” said the minister (pictured below).

The CECM in charge of Health said when she took over she found that there was a lot of discrepancies in the placing of medical staff, among them nurses.

“Right now there are more than 13 nurses managers at the county, hospitals and sub county level who can double up for other roles at different levels instead of just one role,” said the minister.

She further claimed that when the new regime took over, the county chief nurse had taken the responsibilities of human resource manager, and yet there are people who are trained on what she was doing.

“We collapsed some of the functions that were assigned to nurses and other people in the health sector and reserved their positions for qualified professionals in that field. Structuring is going on to ensure that staffs especially at managerial level will handle related roles to avoid pulling staffs from service area to offices, and we hope our staff will be supportive of this move,” said Somoire.

Blogger Matampash Obama posted on social media that two weeks ago, county and sub county reproductive health nurses were redeployed to dispensaries and health centres in a bid to enable the chief nurse manage the World Bank resources.

It has now emerged the blogger is related to one of the nurses posted to Ngong from Dalalekutuk Ward where he had established his private clinic in Purko.

The blogger, in a surprise move, even went ahead to demand the resignation of the chief nurses and her position be advertised.

He did not tell his followers that he was actually allegedly fighting for his kin to remain in Dalalekutuk and continue breaking the law in engaging in activity that amounts to conflict of interests.

The World Bank project comprises of three components; (I) Improving PHC results aims to improve the delivery, (II) Utilization, and (III) Quality of PHC services at the county level with a focus on RMNCAH.

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