RUSSIA, UN DELEGATIONS IMPRESSED BY THE DEVOLUTION COURSE IN KAKAMEGA

High powered delegations from the Russian Embassy and the United
Nations led by Dmitry Maksimychev the Russian Envoy to Kenya and the
United Nations Resident Coordinator to Kenya Mr. Sid Chatterjee have
today expressed satisfaction with the path taken by the county
government to better the living standards of its residents under the
stewardship of H.E. the Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya.

The
two spoke in the presence of the Governor after being taken round the
upcoming 750 bed capacity Kakamega County Teaching & Referral
Hospital under construction at a cost of Kshs. 6.5 billion.

Speaking at the same venue, H.E. FCPA Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya thanked
the delegations for visiting the county terming it an initial platform
for further engagement and partnership on development matters between
them and the county government of Kakamega.

“Phase One
construction will be complete latest by March 2020 and I do welcome on
board any development partner interested and willing to walk this
journey with us in equipping the facility after its completion,” said
the governor. The minimum cost required to equip the four storey state
of the art facility is Kshs. 2 billion.

Governor Oparanya said
once operational the facility will alleviate financial challenges
witnessed by patients from the Western region who currently endure
travelling long distances to Eldoret and Nairobi for specialized
treatment at the Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital and Kenyatta
National Hospital respectively. He added that the hospital will also
create massive employment opportunities and turn around the economy of
the county.

Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASALs’ Hon.
Eugene Wamalwa who also in attendance said his presence symbolized the
partnership between the national and county governments as well other
development partners in order to achieve the national government’s Big
Four Agenda. He encouraged other county bosses across the country to
visit Kakamega and benchmark in various sectors including healthcare
terming Kakamega county the ‘true face of devolution’.

The
Russian Envoy Dmitry Maksimychev on his part expressed his amazement at
the concept and size of the hospital and exuded confidence that his
government will explore the available opportunities of partnership with
the county government.

Mr. Sid Chatterjee, the UN Resident
Coordinator to Kenya likened the facility to the Apollo Hospital in New
Delhi, India and said he will look into the possibility of a
public-private partnership between the United Nations and the county
government of Kakamega especially in equipping the facility. “This
facility clearly epitomizes the direction that should be emulated to
achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage for all and Vision 2030
for Kenya,” he added.

Also present was the Member of Parliament
for Mumias West Hon. Johnstone Naicca, Head of UNDP to Kenya Walid
Badawi, FAO representative Mr. Tito Arunga, County Secretary Madam
Jacinta Aluoch Odhiambo, Chief Officer for Health Projects Dr. Brenda
Barasa Makokha and the hospital administrator Mr. Titus Omumia, among
others.