Mandera County Government has increased healthcare financing, with an average annual budgetary allocation of Sh 2.4 billion, which translates to 600 per cent increase from healthcare financing before devolution to address its policy objectives and reduce inequalities in healthcare. To improve infrastructure (physical, equipment, transport and ICT) coverage, the County Government has increased the number of referral hospitals from one to four in order to improve access to specialized services within six years of devolution, while three more hospitals have been upgraded from level three to level four. The number of primary healthcare facilities has also been increased from 18 to 69. To improve access to primary healthcare, 61 new dispensaries and 25 new housing units for health workers were constructed between 2014 to 2018.
The vision of the health sector is to have an efficient, high quality healthcare system that is accessible, equitable and affordable for every Kenyan in Mandera County.
The mission of the sector is to promote and lead in the provision of integrated and high quality promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health care services to all Kenyans.
The core values of the County Department of Health Services have been agreed to include and cover the following:
- Commitments – We are committed to assisting our people access quality healthcare
- Accountability – we believe it is our responsibility to be good agents in the efficient and effective use of Material, Human and Financial resources
- Respect– We are culturally sensitive, value dignity and respect the will of our people
- Integrity – we believe our health services should be delivered in an ethical, trustworthy and transparent way.
- Impartiality – We are unbiased and welcome innovative ideas to move our healthcare system to the highest level possible.
Twenty two modern maternity hospitals have been constructed from 2014 to 2018, all geared towards reducing maternal mortality through provision of skilled deliveries. Consequently, skilled deliveries and antenatal attendance in public health facilities have increased by more than 300%.
The county government in a bid to improve maternal health care has constructed an additional 4 new operating theaters at Lafey, Banisa, Kutulo and Dandu health facilities to offer comprehensive obstetric care. Cumulatively, the county Government has spent Sh 4.9 billion in infrastructure development since 2013.
Provision of immunization services is critical to reduced infant mortality and requires functional and proper infrastructure. In Mandera, the services are now offered in 68 health facilities, which is more than triple the number of facilities (18) that previously offered the services.
This has led to the realization of more fully-immunized children before their first birthdays from 28% to 52% now.
The County had no ambulance services before devolution, but currently has procured seven fully-equipped ambulances, which are strategically stationed in all sub-counties to provide emergency referrals.
Besides these seven, the county has acquired through partners five more ambulances and distributed them across the seven sub counties. This has increased the number of patients who receive timely and quality referral totaling to 12,642 out which 4,896 were Maternal cases referrals.
The county increased the number of health workforce to 864 including 330 nurses, 54 doctors, 104 clinical officers, 37 pharm tech and 68 lab technicians among others thus improving the staffing level by 561 per cent.
This increase in health workforce also represents 50 per cent of the optimal staffing levels required by our health sector compared to the insignificant three per cent increase before devolution. This has enabled the Ministry of Health to open 52 more public healthcare facilities. The Ministry of Health heavily invested in capacity development for healthcare workers. To date, more than 490 health workers have been trained in different areas.