Health

Sh555m medical gadgets lie idle in 12 county hospitals

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Nancy Gathungu, the Auditor-General of the Republic of Kenya gives a speech at a past event. FILE PHOTO | BILLY OGADA | NMG

Medical equipment valued at Sh555.2 million are unused in 12 county hospitals as patients endure long travel and cost inconveniences seeking services in far-flung or private facilities.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu indicates in a special audit that while some of the equipment had broken down, the rest could not be used as the hosting hospitals lacked the infrastructure to install them.

Among the facilities flagged in the report are Gatundu South, Cherangany and Mukurweini Level Four hospitals, Murang’a Level Five, Nyeri, Meru, Kilifi and Kericho County Referral hospitals and Kapkatet Sub-County Hospital.

Others are Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Magutuni District Hospital as well as West Hospital which led the pack to hold onto equipment worth Sh155.5 million that is not in use.

West Hospital was closely followed by Murang’a Level Five which had equipment worth Sh103.6 million, Mukuruweini (Sh92.3 million), Gatundu South (Sh72.9 million) and Kilifi (Sh31.8 million). The rest held less than Sh30 million such equipment each.

Their physical inspection was carried out in September 2023.

“Physical inspection carried out in the month of September 2023 revealed that the equipment had been delivered to the respective hospitals. However, equipment valued at Sh555.2 million were not in use due to various reasons such as hospitals lacking buildings and the required infrastructure to install the equipment while some of the equipment had broken down,” said Ms Gathungu.

“Some equipment had broken down immediately after installation. For instance, the incinerator supplied to the Kericho County Referral Hospital on 19 November, 2021 worked for only six months and broke down.”

They were bought in a Sh3.9 billion deal between Kenya and France on August 27, 2020 to cater for emergency response against Covid-19 and maternal and infant mortality.

At least 31 facilities benefited.

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