The advent of devolution in the country has rekindled hope to women in Kwale County who used to walk several kilometers in search of healthcare services.
Most women in Kwale County have expressed their gratitude for the county’s zeal to take healthcare services to the grassroots.
In Menzamwenye village unit, Dzombo ward, Jumuiya News met Salama Tsuma, an expectant mother who used to walk over five kilometers to Lunga lunga to get treatment.
“It was not easy for us to access healthcare facilities because the only hospital available was Lunga Lunga which had inadequate staff and equipment before 2013,” she explains.
While other Kenyans in some parts of the country struggle to travel long distance to seek healthcare services, Salama Tsuma says the script is different in Kwale.
Tsuma said that after county government of Kwale built a dispensary and a maternity wing full operational at Vitsangalaweni area, they have breathed a sigh of relief.
“We have a facility these days where we can go and give birth and get treated as well just next to our homes. This is because devolution is helping a lot. I can confess the type of development we are experiencing and services that we are getting as a result of devolution are unimaginable. I never thought one day that we would be having a maternity within our villages,” said Tsuma.
Since 2013, Kwale county government has built and opened 94 dispensaries and 40 maternity wings across the region serving 649,931 Kwale populations among them expectant women and children in the far flung areas.
Early this week, Kwale deputy governor Fatuma Achani opened the 94th dispensary at Kiteje in Matuga constituency.
Addressing residents who gathered at the event, Achani assured Kwale residents that the County Government will ensure everyone gets quality and reliable healthcare services.
“Women from the ward can now receive quality maternal care from the fully equipped facility as well as get 24/7 services since the hospital nurse will be situated within the facility,” she said.
She said that they are putting up staff houses in all facilities to ensure Citizens access services day and night.
Basic healthcare services
While opening Chigombero Dispensary & Maternity Wing in Kikoneni, Governor Salim Mvurya said that his administration has been in the fore front in taking health services to the grass roots.
“The main objective of the facilities is to enhance quality healthcare services to the residents of Kwale'” said Mvurya.
Mvurya said that they want to ensure quality Health Services can be accessed with ease and also reduce the distance which expectant mothers travel to access Maternity Services in the county.
Agatha Musyoka from Kubo South said that renovation and equipping of Shimba Hills health facility among other health centers in Matuga has helped locals in a big way.
“Sincerely we have services courtesy of devolution these days, “said Agatha.
“Nowadays even if you experience labour pain at night, you don’t have to worry because the facilities are just a stone throw away,” she said.
She said previously they used to rely on motorcycles for transport which is hectic and sometimes dangerous for expectant women.
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“We have had cases where expectant mothers miscarry because of motorcycle transport but these days we have maternity near our homes, we appreciate devolution,” she adds.
The county is still building more health facilities in remote areas to ensure every citizen get services.
“We as leaders have a debt with the people, and the only way to repay the debt is by taking life changing projects to their door steps,” said Deputy Governor Achani when she launched construction of Shambini dispensary, Puma ward, Kinango Sub County.
Mercy Wamwero from Kombe village in Lunga Lunga said that they are enjoying the benefit of devolution especially in the health sector.
According to governor Mvurya his administration is doing everything possible to ensure that president Uhuru Kenyatta’s big four agenda are realized from the county level.
Kubo South MCA Andrew Mulei says that opening of Lukore dispensary and a maternity wing is a good move to ensure women; children and elderly people do not travel too far to get services.