Kiambu to spend record sh. 2 billion on mortuary, new hospitals and upgrades.

A file photo of the modern Gatundu Level 5 Hospital that is scheduled to have a new mortuary by the end of the year.

Kiambu County Government has announced that it will spend a record KES. 2 billion to build a modern mortuary, new hospitals and upgrade some of the existing hospitals across the county in this year’s fiscal budget.

Governor Ferdinand Waititu told the press in his Thika Sub-County office that construction works will commence almost immediately as contractors of most of these projects have already been identified.

Among the new hospitals to be built include Githunguri and Bibirioni Hospitals in Githunguri and Limuru sub-counties at a cost of KES. 800 million and KES. 300 million respectively. The two level IV hospitals are expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Other hospitals earmarked to be upgraded to Level IV status include Thogoto, Wangige, Tigoni and Lari hospitals.

“We expect to have completed this work by the end of this year. Upon completion, all these hospitals will have been upgraded to level IV status, drastically reducing the workload in our existing level V hospitals,” Waititu told the press.

Stressing the fact that more than ‎⅔ of the county budget has been allocated to the health department, the governor added that plans were also underway to put up medical training colleges (MTC) in Kiambu Level V Hospital, Igegania, Githunguri and Ngarariga Level IV hospitals.

“Very soon we are going to open MTC facilities in Kiambu Level 5 Hospital, Githunguri, Igegania and Ngarariga hospitals. The students in these facilities will go a long way in assisting us cover the deficit in our health workforce,” he said.

Waititu also said that the county had already assigned a contractor to do a modern mortuary at the Gatundu Level V Hospital to replace the more than 50-year old morgue that has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons.

Last month, media reports described a pathetic situation of the 52-year-old facility, indicating unfrozen bodies being piled on the floor and called for its immediate closure.

The morgue, which has a holding capacity of nine bodies, is said to have been overstretched after the expansion of the hospital. The hospital which was opened in 1966 by President Jomo Kenyatta now has an inpatient capacity of 250 and a maximum of 300.

In response to the allegations, Health executive Dr. Joseph Murega denied there was a foul smell from the morgue, saying the bodies are preserved through embalmment as opposed to cold room facilities after engineers declared the refrigeration unserviceable in October last year and as such, no smell can emanate from the corpses.

County Health chief officer Dr. Andrew Toro, who had accompanied Dr. Murega, said plans were underway to construct a modern 36-capacity mortuary at the hospital and the designs and bill were ready.

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