The magnificent first phase of Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital will be commissioned in March next year, governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya has said.

“It was our intention to have the hospital operationalized by end of this year but the contractor has requested for more time to finalize critical works at the Shs6 billion health project,” he told visiting medical and policy experts from several UN agencies and the National Government.

Governor Oparanya who was accompanied by deputy governor Prof. Philip Museve Kutima revealed that the County government was engaging potential partners to support the hospital through expertise and critical medical equipment. He added that his motivation for building the hospital arose from the suffering of County residents who travel long distances to Eldoret and Nairobi, at great cost, in search of specialized treatment.

“I’m talking to a leading hospital in India for partnership and training for our staff ahead of opening of an eye hospital at our new facility,” said the County boss. Russians have also expressed interest in investments in telemedicine, he added.

The governor who is also the CoG chair said the County would embrace new technology to deliver quality services through telemedicine, connectivity and establishment of data centres.

The team leader, Dr. Bahaa Eddine Arroukh, senior advisor Innovation & Technology at the UN Office in Nairobi and the representative of the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr. Anne Ng’ang’a said they were impressed by the proposed hospital’s infrastructure and hoped that it would present opportunities for strengthening of partnerships between the UN and the County Government.

The visitors drawn from UNDP, UNOP, UNAIDS and the national government’s ministry of Health were led in the facility’s tour by the County Secretary and Head of the Public Service, Madam Jacinta Aluoch Odhiambo, the Chief Officer Service Delivery, Ambassador James Ochami, the Chief Officer Health Projects, Dr. Brenda Makokha, the Chief Officer ICT, e-Government and Communication, Mr. Eugine Wamalwa Milimo and senior County health department officials.