The Kisumu County government has been urged to supply medical kits and drugs to various hospitals within Kisumu County. 

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According to the chairman of Magnum Environmental Network, Michael Otieno Nyaguti has noted that most facilities lack essential equipment to tackle common ailments.

This follows claims of various health centers in the county lacking Rapid Disease Test kits which are essential in carrying out malaria tests, for a period of time now.

“It is upon the county government to ensure that they purchase these things because they are key items that can help fight malaria in the community. We have several malaria incidences and this needs to be taken care of,” said the human rights activist in a phone interview with Hivisasa on Tuesday.

“They are talking about Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and at the grassroots, you find that they don’t have the rapid test kits. That one I think it is a letdown,” he added.

One of the facilities that have been lacking the kits for some time now is the St. Marks Lela Health Centre, in Central Kisumu ward, Kisumu West Constituency.

One of the center’s officials who asked to remain anonymous said they do not have the kits, insisting it is a challenge being faced by other health facilities in the County. The official said the County is aware of the lack of kits.

“We do not sent patients away, we refer them to other places in case they need tests in order to ascertain whether they have malaria or not. But as you can see, everybody is on duty and we are working towards assisting patients. They are being treated and given drugs where necessary,” said the official in an interview at the facility on Tuesday.

Cynthia Achieng Otieno from Tieng’re was one of the residents who visited the facility on Tuesday. Her child was sick with malaria symptoms.

“Her temperature is high, she has a cold and then she is also coughing. I came here and explained to the medical officer how she has been feeling over the past 2-3 days. The child did not undergo any tests. The officer prescribed amoxyl and panadol for her,” she said.

She was later given the drugs free of charge.  Central Kisumu ward is home to over 9, 000 residents, with most of them depending on St. Marks Lela Health Centre for medication.

The ward is close to Lake Victoria which makes cases of malaria cases in the area high. Kisumu is one of the four counties carrying out the pilot phase of UHC, alongside Nyeri, Machakos and Isiolo counties.