Kitui county Assembly gives Ngilu 60 days to hire health minister

A past photo of Kitui County Assembly during a previous siting. The MCAs adopted a report of the health and sanitation committee asking Ngilu to hire a health minister in 60 days. (Photo credit - Courtesy)

For more than 2 years, Kitui county has not had a health minister. The chief officer Dr. Richard Muthoka has been leading the ministry which gets the biggest chunk of the county’s budget. The county Assembly Wednesday adopted a report on the status of the health care in Kitui county in which Ngilu is given 60 days to hire a health minister.

Migwani MCA Philip Nguli who chairs the health committee tabled the report which has several recommendations on improving the County health sector.

Hiring of Kitui Health Minister

“The department of health and sanitation is experiencing difficulties in its leadership and management as a result of lacking a substantive CECM who’s role is policy formulation for a long period of time. The governor should recruit a health CECM without any further delay in a period of 60 days within the adoption of this report.” The Migwani MCA said.

The failure to hire a substantive health minister for Kitui was one of the 12 grounds in the flopped Ngilu impeachment motion.

KChic program

According to the report, The KCHIC program lacks proper software to run it, has low public awareness on the need for regular renewals, and a very weak management system. The committee recommended a forensic audit to determine how funds from the KCHIC program were used and the sensitization of locals to enroll in the program.

They asked EACC to investigate Health Chief officer Dr. Richard Muthoka for failing to adhere to the approved regulations of the program.

The Kitui County Health Insurance Cover (KCHIC) was launched in August 2018 and targetted over 270,000 households to provide them with affordable insurance cover. The households are required to pay 1,000 shillings annually and receive free outpatient and inpatient treatment, ambulance services and mortuary bills for up to 7 days.

Cancer management

The committee recommended the Health Department to establish a full cancer treatment center at Kitui Referral Hospital and Mwingi Level 4 hospitals and the equipping of the primary health facilities to carry out basic screening services.

“A cancer research and registry center should be established at the Kitui County Referral Hospital to help build up information on cancer. The County Ministry of Health should start sensitization programs on cancer awareness, early diagnosis, screening, prevention, and treatment spearheaded by a cancer task force in the ministry.” The report further read.

Other recommendations

The committee wanted a radiologist recruited within 60 days to offer services at Kitui County Referral Hospital. They further recommended the completion of theatres and uncomplete projects in the department.

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