Korea’s Sh1bn grant to help cure Kajiado County health system woes

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The healthcare system in Kajiado County is set to undergo a major transformation following a grant from the Korean government.

Through their aid agency, KOICA, the Koreans have committed to pump nearly one billion shillings ($6.05 million) into a five-year programme that will benefit health facilities in both urban and rural areas of the county.

On Monday, Treasury and Economic Planning CS Njuguna Ndung’u hosted Governor Joseph Ole Lenku and Korean Ambassador to Kenya Sung-Jun Yeo for the final approval of the new healthcare deal aimed at revamping the health sector in a county with a unique mix of urban and rural areas and a rapidly growing population.

Documents related to the projects show that the theatre of the nearly Sh1 billion health investment will include key hospitals and major health centres in the sub-counties.

For instance, at least six well-equipped ambulances will be given to health centres in remote areas such as Mashuuru, Ewuaso and Ngatataek, and more than motorcycles will be distributed to health centres.

In another round of projects, Kitengela Sub County Hospital, which has recently become the first choice for thousands of patients from Kajiado and the densely populated peri-urban areas of Machakos and Nairobi counties, will benefit from a mega project called the Mamtoto Specialised Medical Centre. The four-storey facility will be equipped with modern facilities and is expected to be operational by 2025.

At the Treasury, officials from both governments expressed optimism about the new health prospects.

“This grant will improve maternal and newborn health by strengthening the health system in Kajiado County. More than 300,000 residents will benefit,” said Ambassador Sung-Jun Yeo.

He added that the mega-projects were conceived several years ago and their implementation would bring about a major paradigm shift in the provision of maternal and child health services in the rapidly growing urban centres and rural areas.

“There will be construction of maternal shelters, provision of medical equipment and training and capacity building of health workers,” the envoy said.

Governor Lenku said the projects were the result of strong cooperation between the county government and the Korean and Kenyan governments.

“As we continue to invest the largest percentage of our own budget in health, the partnership with our development partners will go a long way in helping us achieve Universal Health Coverage.

The governor reiterated that the county’s health facilities were under pressure from patients from neighbouring counties and needed special attention.

“When we improved our services and introduced various clinics in the hospitals, we got an influx of patients from other counties. We will fast-track the new projects to ensure they serve even more people,” said Lenku.

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