My conscience has sent me to do a piece on one Hon. Mwanajuma and the elephant in her life.
currently. If there is one executive who has been hounded by the media; both social and mainstream since being sworn into office then it is her.
This week might seal her fate as the County Executive committee Member once the Adhoc committee upholds the reasons/grounds warranting her impeachment.
I took time to do my own investigation to see if she really has been just sitting in her office, enjoying the cool environment ( Air conditioned) and just enjoying the title.
Let’s start with what has been the loudest outcry; drugs. She has been accused that since she came into office, the department has not purchased any essential commodities or health products. A few phone calls and even charts revealed to me that three major consignments of commodities have been delivered into the various health facilities between February 2018 when she took oath of office to date.
The first one was in april/May last year which were flagged at Garsen health centre by the Governor, the deputy and other leaders during the floods that rocked the county. This consignment worth Ksh. 50M was delivered to Garsen, Ngao, Hola, Bura and Madogo for onward distribution to the rest of the health facilities.
The second major order was from KEMSA ( a government agency) in October but actual distribution came in late december 2018/early January 2019. The order was worth Ksh. 45M. This was to all health facilities but then KEMSA had a hitch and failed to distribute analgesics.
In July 2019, another distribution by Pharmatrade was done worth 30M. two other local companies were given orders but failed to deliver due to capacities.
Other small orders to support procurement of non pharmaceuticals for other essential units in the hospitals. Consumables for the renal unit and lab reagents were also issued and delivered.
Currently, distribution of commodities worth 78M and linen worth 3M is on going. The 3 Hospitals ( Hola, Bura and Ngao) and 3 Health centres ( Madogo, Garsen and Kipini) have already received their consignments. KEMSA has committed to deliver to remaining health facilities within the next two weeks.
This begs the question; what happens to these drugs after distribution and again how come some of the facilities dont deplete their stocks as fast as others?
As we ponder on that , let us go to the other concern which is development projects. It is alleged the executive member has not initiated any development project since she took over the department. This seems not to resonate with what is on the ground as I interviewed some of the staff and even people, media coverage of the department also says otherwise.
Some of the projects the department has seen to completion during her watch are
- The paediatric ward at hola hospital; fully equipped.
- The hola hospital kitchen with a new modern gas cooker.
- The new maternity and neonatal wing at hola hospital ( fully equipped with a theatre).
- Wenje Maternity ( Fully equipped by Kenya Insurance development corporation).
- Garsen Theatre ( Fully equipped by MES).
- Equipping and opening of Kone dispensary.
- Renovation of Majengo dispensary & staff houses.
- Finishing of hola hospital walk way and cabros.
Opening of facilities and new projects.
- Kalalani dispensary.
2 odole dispensary.
- Mandingo dispensary.
- Kone dispensary.
- Radiology unit at Bura hospital.
- Fencing of paediatric ward at Hola.
- Renal/dialysis unit.
- Purchase of laboratory equipment supporting dialysis unit.
- Accident and emergency unit hola hospital.
- Renovation of female and male wards and hola hospital.
- Three phase power upgrade at Hola hospital and Garsen health centre.
- New maternity ablution block.
- Renovation and expansion of Information & records office and new outpatient ablution block.
- Old maternity modern 2 door toilet.
In my inquisition, I also learnt that that the health department is the one that has inherited the most of the county’s pending Bills with over 22 health facilities not yet opened ; some stalled others near completion.
Who prioritizes payment of pending Bills for the departments and where are the reaources; at the department or at the county treasury?
I hope someone will help us solve this mystery or give us the right answers.
Refferals is the other outcry from the public and leaders. Patients have been asked to fuel ambulances and the refferals as seen to be too many . The question that has been in people’s lips always has been what is the difference between Hola, ngao and malindi hospital. The difference according to the several medics I have spoken to is one; availability of medical specialists in malindi as compared to our hospitals in Tana. In Tana River, there are medical officers who in some medical conditions of the patients might need specialised opinion and care which is missing in Tana. Then the next question that pops up is why is the County not recruiting? Am again reliably informed that specialists shy away from Tana due to one, lack of specialised equipment, other facilities in which they will continue to practice privately after their normal working hours and again sharpen their skills with the changing and advancing technologies in the market.
Medical camps are other avenues of bridging the gap for specialised care and Tanariver used to benefit from AMREF quarterly camps back then until the insecurity in within ( 2012 clashes) and our neighbouring counties took a toll and we were classified as not safe zones.
A source that sought anonymity also reliably told me that a medical camp was organized in the last term of government and one senior staff made away with other staffs’ allowances. this has made it very difficult for madam Mwanajuma’ s leadership to conduct medical camps since staff are not so receptive to the idea.
The department which is considered the highest funded has to compete for payment equally with others hence sometimes their requests for fuel are not paid. This has forced the department to ask patients to fuel ambulances. This scenario however doesn’t happen when the department has fuel. We must also note that according to the last passed county finance bill which is 2016 has stipulated rates for ambulance charges which goes to the revenue fund.
The department has the highest number of staff who take up 3/4 of the budget in salaries and personal emoluments. The department had a budget of Ksh. 200m in the 2018/2019 budget and Ksh. 148M in the 2019/2020 budget for development. The department has been struggling to to prioritize with the limited resources without affecting/ or overulling the people’s wishes as per the public participation forums.
According to the CECM, there is hope from partners who have committed to support the County Government’s health agenda.
The CECM has taken the heat since stepping into office but she has also remained steadfast in her stands. She is believed to have allowed staff to participate in various cadre specific conferences so as teams remain abreast of advancements taking place in their fields, she has organized and whipped her management team in several supervision visits in the last one year, she has visited and held staff meetings in over 34 of the health facilities in the county within the 23 months period she has been in office and she has been at hola hospital at night sometimes following up on some complaints, kitere when a mother almost lost her life just to name but a few incidents.
The title ‘flower girl’ branded to her doesn’t fit her description. Flower girl title is usually labelled on women given positions as a check box for women inclusion in public and private institutions, but Mabuke isn’t the desk officer/lady type. Those working under her credit her firmness, follow up and need to be updated timely.
Is she being fixed for her hard stand or is her technical team letting her down? She may go down but she surely made a mark in some people and she deserves that credit. Whatever happens, she will remain in the history books of this county not only as the CECM health but the first woman to hold that powerful docket in Tanariver.