Immigrants from Ethiopia and Somalia are putting a strain on Mandera Referral Hospital forcing the county to spend nearly Sh1 billion annually to carter for the foreigners.
Data provided by the county show that about 40 per cent of patients admitted at the hospital are non-residents. Mandera County Governor Ali Roba said Al-Shabaab attacks and outbreaks of diseases are major contributors to the burden.
For instance, last week there were injuries resulting from an attack by Al-Shabaab in Somalia and about 15 injured soldiers were admitted at the referral hospital. The hospital had to conduct about 10 scans, which were paid for from the hospital kitty.
“We cannot turn them away because it is impossible. It is our responsibility to take care of our neighbours,” he said.
Mr Roba said the national government does not appreciate the uniqueness of Mandera town when working out allocations for the health dockets. The referral hospital is not among the 11 that get additional cash from the national government through the conditional grants budget.