Ushering in of a new baby ‘devolved governments’ in the country has seen Kwale women highly affected by long distance to access health facilities smile.
Expectant mothers as Salama Tsuma explain at her Menzamwenye village unit, Dzombo ward in LungaLunga, they were traveling long distance to seek health services.
“It was not easy for us to access health facilities because the only hospital available was LungaLunga which had inadequate staff and equipments before 2013,” she explains.
While other Kenyans in some parts of the country struggle to travel long distance to seek health services, Salama Tsuma says in Kwale the situation is different.
Tsuma said it was a sigh of relief when Kwale county government built a dispensary and a maternity wing full operational at Vitsangalaweni area.
“These days we have a facility where we can go and give birth and as well get treated just next to our homes. This is as a result of devolution, the benefits we are getting as a result of devolution are unimaginable. I never thought one day that we would be having a maternity within our villages,” she said.
“I am shocked to hear people trying to change the constitution, I am sure it will affect county governments in term of funds allocation which it is not good,” she said.
Since 2013, Kwale county government has built and opened 94 dispensaries and 40 maternity wings across the region serving 649,931 Kwale populations among them expectant women and children.
Barely a week ago, Kwale Deputy governor Fatuma Achani opened the 94th dispensary at Kiteje in Matuga constituency.
[Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya (R) with his Deputy Fatuma Achani (L) during the official launch of Chigombero maternity. Photo/Alloys Musyoka].
Addressing residents who gathered at the event, Achani assured Kwale residents that the County Government will ensure everyone gets quality and reliable healthcare services.
“Women from the ward can now receive quality maternal care from the fully equipped facility as well as access 24/7 services since the hospital nurses will be situated within the facility,” she said.
She noted that staff houses will be conctructed in the facility to enable locals access all time health services.
While opening Chigombero Dispensary & Maternity Wing in Kikoneni, Governor Salim Mvurya said that his administration has been in the fore front in taking health services to the grassroots.
“The main objective of the facilities is to enhance universal quality health services to all Kwale residents,”said Mvurya.
Mvurya said they want to ensure ease access of quality health services and reduce the distance which expectant mothers travel to access maternity services in the county.
Agatha Musyoka from Kubo South revealed the renovation and equipping of Shimba Hills health facility among other health centers in Matuga has helped locals a big way.
“Sincerely we have services courtesy devolution these days,” said Agatha.
“Nowadays even if you experience delivery pain at night, you don’t have to worry because the facilities are just a stone throw away,” she said.
Women big beneficiaries
She said previously they used to rely on motorcycles for transport which is hectic and dangerous especially for expectant women.
[Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya inspecting hospital beds at Lukore maternity wing during official opening of the dispensary. Photo/Alloys Musyoka].
“We have had cases where expectant women miscarriage because of motorcycle transport mode, however, these days we have maternity near our homes, we appreciate devolution,” she adds.
The county is still building more health facilities in remote areas to ensure every citizen get services.
“We as leaders have a debt with the people, and the only way to repay the debt is by taking life changing projects to their door steps,” said Achani when she launched construction of Shambini dispensary, Puma ward, Kinango Sub County.
Mercy Wamwero from Kombe village in LungaLunga said they are enjoying the benefit of devolution especially in the health sector.
According to governor Mvurya his administration is doing everything possible to ensure president Uhuru Kenyatta’s big four agendas are realised through to the county level.
Kubo South MCA Andrew Mulei says opening of Lukore dispensary and a maternity wing is a bold move to ensure women, children and the elderly do not stretch foe health services.