Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has promised to establish a vibrant healthcare programme in the county if re-elected to serve for a second term.
Speaking during a campaign rally in Meru town, the county boss said he will continue to improve health infrastructure in dispensaries, health centres, and hospitals as well as streamlining the procurement and stocking of drugs in all health facilities.
He promised to invest more resources in promotional and preventive health and intensify public health education to reduce the prevalence of preventable diseases such as diabetes, malaria, dysentery, and HIV/AIDS among others.
“We will also initiate a process to enhance the elevation of Meru Level five hospital to level six, as a parastatal with its own independent board, like Kenyatta hospital. We will also create two more level five hospitals in the county to cater to the entire population in the region,” said Mr Kiraitu.
To alleviate the financial burden on cancer patients who have to travel to Nairobi and India to seek treatment, Governor Kiraitu said he will facilitate the construction of an ultra-modern cancer centre next to Meru level five hospital at a cost of Sh1.6billion.
Already, 2.5 acres of land have been allocated near the hospital for the construction of the facility.
“We will also continue to support the Meru hospice which has been on the frontline in fighting cancer menace in the county by taking care of the terminally ill, through the proceeds from the Mountain run,” said Governor Kiraitu.
He also promised to expand National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) coverage to the most vulnerable groups in society including People with Disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly.
“I will also provide free medical cover for all Meru County citizens who are 65 years and above,” said Governor Kiraitu.
For the first time in the history of Meru, the county government has established a renal unit, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and a cancer centre at Meru level five hospital.
A histopathology lab has also been opened at the hospital to enhance cancer testing which has consequently reduced the waiting period for results.
The county government has also completed the construction of a new 250-bed capacity ward block at the Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital at a cost of Sh350million.