JOOTRH upgrade is solely Kisumu govt’s effort, Nyong’o clarifies

By , K24 Digital
On Sat, 18 May, 2024 20:43 | 3 mins read
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o.
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o. PHOTO/@AnyangNyongo/X

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o has explained why the upgrade of the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) to a Grade 6 health facility is solely his government's effort.

Stating that some politicians are taking credit for the upgrade, Nyong'o pointed out step-by-step moves that finally saw the health institution upgraded to the next level.

"A few misguided individuals have been posting on social media - misleading and fabricated information about the upgrading of the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital to a Grade 6 health facility.

"These individuals have been struggling to change the narrative on the development of JOOTRH, by insinuating through reckless political innuendo that it was some elected leaders and not the County Government who pushed for the promotion of this key public hospital in Western Kenya, to the new grade," a statement by the Governor said.

Nyong'o went on to explain why his government should take credit for the upgrade, despite several other politicians claiming credit.

"The County Government, not an individual, has been painstakingly working on the upgrade of the hospital - not only to make it a grade 6 facility but to make it a semi-autonomous hospital. 

"As outlined in Governor Anyang' Nyong'o's manifesto during his first term, the county government aimed to elevate JOOTRH to a regional referral hospital. This upgrade required the hospital to first enhance its services to meet the Kenya Essential Package for Health (KEPH) Level 6 standards as prescribed by the Ministry of Health Policies and confirmed by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC)," it added.

The interventions taken by the Kisumu County Government to have JOOTRH reach the KEPH level have also been pointed out.

"To attain KEPH Level 6, the county department of health and JOOTRH developed a comprehensive roadmap, starting in 2020, to be implemented over five years.

"This roadmap included infrastructural, administrative, and legislative reforms necessary for the upgrade.

"Detailed reports were prepared describing the current and proposed organizational structures of JOOTRH, staff attributions of the proposed structure, and budgetary implications. Additionally, an implementation matrix for the institutional reforms and a draft autonomization roadmap were created," the letter continued.

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital. PHOTO/@jootrhkisumu/X
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital. PHOTO/@jootrhkisumu/X

Initiatives

According to the devolved government, the modernization and expansion of the hospital were done in two phases designed to be completed in five years, starting in 2020.

Phase one involved infrastructure enhancement and facility capacity expansion. It also involved a substantial increase in the hospital's bed capacity from 530 to 880 beds, representing a 70% expansion.

"The surgical division was expanded from 100 to 300 beds (a 200% increase) to accommodate surgical sub-specialties such as plastic surgery, burns, head and neck surgery (including neurosurgery, dental and maxillofacial, and ENT), while reorganizing orthopaedics, general surgery, and dialysis services.

"This was done through several infrastructure projects, including the addition of an extra floor on top of old buildings to increase bed capacity, the construction of a new funeral parlour, a new kitchen, doctors' call rooms, and a cancer center. The hospital also got a facelift with a new glass facade, cabro works, and parking area," Nyong'os statement added.

The second phase focused on improving and expanding the infrastructure for emergency medical and surgical responses, strengthening clinical governance, and investing in strategies to address neglected but high-burden diseases and conditions in Kisumu County and the region.

The third and final phase involved special infrastructure projects and special initiatives.

"This initiative addresses the human resource gap by training neurosurgeons through a collegiate system at JOOTRH. Over the past three years, numerous patients, including Governor Anyang' Nyong'o, have benefited from neurosurgical interventions.

"An 80-bed neurosurgical inpatient facility, equipped with modern lifts connecting it to the existing theatre complex, is nearing completion," it added.

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