Kenya’s Covid-19 spend at Sh6.4bn

Rashid Aman
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman at a Press briefing on Covid-19 at Afya House. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government has spent Sh6.4 billion in the past three months to respond to effects of coronavirus even as the number of confirmed positive cases continue to rise, hitting 5,384 on Thursday.

Sh5.85 billion has been shared among the 47 counties to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 while the rest was distributed to national referral hospitals for acquiring test kits and reagents.

Data contained in the third mini-budget tabled in Parliament on Wednesday shows Sh6.35 billion has been spent.

The Treasury had allocated Sh3 billion in the Second Supplementary budget that was approved in April but has now factored in a further Sh3.35 billion in the Third Supplementary Budget that has been placed before Parliament for approval as the financial year closes in less than five days.

“Supplementary estimate of the amount required in the year ending June 30, 2020 for salaries and expenses of the Ministry of Health including general administration, planning, health policy and standards management, oversight over sanitation services, health training, health research, referral facilities, medical supplies and aids control (Sh6,350,000,000).”


300 BEDS

The Treasury transferred Sh5.85 billion to the counties to develop at least 300-bed isolation centres in readiness for the surging Covid-19 cases.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 10 in his monthly address to the nation on Covid-19 ordered counties to prepare well for handling the pandemic.

The Sh5.35 billion was given to the 47 counties as conditional grant to be used on increasing their healthcare capacity by building infrastructure.

The latest budget estimates show that the Treasury has released Sh1.5 billion to the Ministry of Health for procurement of test kits and reagents used to test Covid-19 since the first case was detected in Kenya on March 24.

Donors like Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma donated equipment, some of which was stolen on arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The disappearance of the donations comes at a time Kenya is struggling to acquire testing kits, reagents and personal protective gear for health workers.

The Supplementary Budget III indicates that the Treasury transferred Sh700 million to the Health docket for administration of quarantine facilities while Sh300 million was spent on supply of face masks to vulnerable groups.

Mbagathi Hospital and Coast General Hospital, which have been handling the bulk of Covid-19 patients received Sh350 million each while Mandera and Kitui hospitals got Sh250 million each.

Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital and Jaramogi Oginga Teaching and Referral Hospital were allocated Sh300 million each while Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital got Sh250 million.