Kiambu may stop free maternity

By: JOHN KAMAU

The Kiambu government will halt free maternity services for lack of funds unless the national government pays its dues.

Governor William Kabogo said the county has not received money from the Health ministry since September last year.

He said the free services promised by the President require a lot of cash.

Speaking on Tuesday while inspecting the ongoing construction of a reproductive health unit at Thika Level 5 Hospital, Kabogo accused Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia of failing President Uhuru Kenyatta by delaying the funds.

“Macharia should ensure we get half of what we are expecting from them so we do not stop the programme,” Kabogo said.

“It makes no sense to have the free services for a period of time then stop because of funds. We hope this cry will reach Uhuru so he can crack the whip and keep those responsible on toes.”

Kabogo said if the government does not release the money on time, other approaches to address the issue will be sought.

He suggested that residents could pay for the services through NHIF and other mechanisms and be refunded.

“We have to think of other ways to address this issue because most needy Kenyans will suffer if it is left unchecked,” Kabogo said.

He urged leaders not to politicise the matter, saying it is serious and needs to be resolved to save Kenyans from huge costs.

The governor said he is satisfied with the progress of the construction work at the hospital.

Kabogo said the facility is expected to be complete by June next year.