Health Services Department

a)    Background

The department has a total of 16 Health facilities, i.e. 9 Health Centres and 7 Dispensaries, in the four deaneries of Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Keiyo and Marakwet.

The Health Services Department was established at the inception of the diocese of Kitale in 1998. Previously, it was part of the diocese of Eldoret that was established in 1970 initially as the medical department before was changed to health services department. The department aims to promote wholeness and general health care through Hospitals, Health Centers, Dispensaries, Mobile Clinics and Community Based Health Care, among others. 

Since its creation, the department has played its critical role in developing health oriented programs and services that are geared towards provision of general and specialized health care through the diocesan health facilities. Besides, the department has mainstreamed prevention and control of public health problems in the diocese.

The department rolls its interventions by focusing mainly on community health care programming as well as enhancing Foundations for health department, Health Services,
Health Workforce, Health Information, Medical Products, Vaccines and Technologies, Health Financing and Leadership and Governance

The following are the Health facilities within the Catholic Diocese of Kitale:

i. Ortum Mission Hospital and School for Nursing
ii. Kiminini Cottage Hospital
iii. Kolongolo Health Centre
iv. St Raphael Dispensary
v. St Ursula’s Dispensary
vi. Kacheliba Dispensary and Mobile Clinic.
vii. Amakuriat Dispensary and Mobile clinic
viii. Parua Dispensary
ix. Kitale Mobile Clinic
x. Holy Rosary Health Centre in Ngonyek.

Most of the facilities are semi-autonomous under sisters’ congregations. They are thence co-managed by the health office. The current office holder since 2014 is Ms Carolyne Nalyanya. Her predecessors are Sr. Maryann Mushi, Sr. Elizabeth Duley and Ms. Regina Ngentich.

b)    The Catholic Health Commission of Kenya (CHCK).

The diocesan health department is affiliated to the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya (CHCK). The Catholic Health Commission of Kenya is a national organ that provides an oversight, advocates and presents an expansive network of catholic health facilities under different diocesan health departments. The commission provides direction and formulates the operational links between catholic health facilities and the ministry of health. It plays a key role for resource mobilization for the health care system.

c)    Mission Statement

To promote life to the full through quality preventive, curative and rehabilitative services with total respect for life and preferential option for the poor within acceptable standards envisioned by the Ministry of Health, and in accordance with the healing ministry of Christ and teachings of the Catholic Church.

d)    Functions
i. Ensure a constant supply of drugs by MEDS.

ii. Enhance continued medical education.

iii. Maintain active collaboration with the Ministry of Health to ensure inter alia; secondment/ deployment of health workers to the catholic health facilities and supply of drug Kits including immunization kits.

iv. Oversee modernization and expansion of facilities.

v. Provide direction on health matters

vi. Steer the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health projects and/or services.

vii. Provide coordination and administrative duties to support the health care systems in the diocese.

viii. Establish and maintains a link between the diocese and the government’s department of health.

ix. Formulate comprehensive human resource policies, health operation policies, and health by-laws.

x. Establish links between the health care services and the community at large.

xi. Oversee the implementation of the department’s strategic plan including the operationalization of the annual planning and review cycle stated here-in-above.

xii. Coordinate Health Services through Hospitals, Health Centres, Dispensaries, Clinics and Community Based Health Care, among others.

xiii. Promote Pastoral care of the sick in all medical units.

xiv. Coordinate training and skills up grading programs for health workers in health units.

xv. Assist health units by providing consultation, evaluation and communication.

xvi. Promote collaboration with the Kenya Health Commission of Kenya, GoK, County Governments, other NGOs, and churches.

xvii. Coordinate the procurement and distribution of essential drugs to all health units.

xviii. Promote Catholic faith, values and ethics.

xix. Promote quality health care services at Diocesan health units and outreach programs.

xx. Raise the level of health awareness among local population by integrating CBHC and HIV/AIDS programs.

e)    Problems and Challenges
i. The Health care services in the diocese are hampered by:

ii. Long distances to health facilities and inadequate health units especially in remote areas.

iii. Increasing number of AIDS patients, orphans and destitutes.

iv. Lack of a comprehensive Health Policy.

v. Inadequate funds to run programs i.e. “A donor dependent department currently with no donor”

vi. Inability of patients to pay for the Health Services due to economic difficulties.

vii. Lack of awareness on community health.

viii. Increased incidences of communicable diseases in the community.

ix. Catholic Church aided health units experience high Staff turnover.

x. Patient cost sharing is too little to afford paying salaries to the health workers.

xi. Lack of proper policies to harmonize the operations (human resource manuals, standardized salary grid, training policy, procurement policies etc.)

xii. Government and other private facilities are mushrooming everywhere and reducing the credibility of health care services.

xiii. Inadequate general and financial management skills of the unit administrators and management committees.
Visions and Goals:

To have:

i. Enhanced the capacity of the diocesan health care system to offer quality preventive, promotive and curative care services.

ii. Promoted the involvement of children, adolescents, youth, community members and persons with disability to adopt relevant skills to prevent health problems and attain health seeking behavior.

iii. Enhanced the institutional capacity of all the diocesan health facilities and nursing school to the level of their potentiality.

iv. Strengthened the lobbying, advocacy and resource mobilization for health care services through policy formulation and implementation from national to county level.

v. A fully established HIV/AIDS Education program and a well sensitized community on the AIDS menace.

vi. Well organised and managed health units.

vii. Attained a reasonable level of financial sustainability and self-reliance.

viii. Improved the delivery of health services and sustainability of the department and units.

ix. Raised the level of health in the community through promotion of Community-Based Health systems

i)    Strategic Orientation

i. The following are the key policy guidelines for future orientation of the department:

ii. Enhanced endeavors in promoting wholeness and general health care through hospitals, health centres, dispensaries, mobile clinics and community-based health systems among others.

iii. Strengthen the management committees of the units and encourage them to promote self-reliance and sustainability

iv. The health facilities shall be open to all, regardless of faith and users of the facilities shall have access to pastoral care.

v. Religious literature shall be availed to the users of the health facilities.

vi. Each health facility shall avail essential drugs. The National drug policy shall be adhered to.

j)    Main Strategies

i. To attain its goals, the following main strategies and tactics will be used:

ii. The department will intensify Education on AIDS prevention.

iii. The department will aim to teach and encourage people to be self-reliant in using what they know and have, i.e. human and material resources, so as to improve their own health conditions.  Thus, emphasis will be placed on CBHC as the core system in Primary Health Care (PHC).

iv. A comprehensive policy that incorporates all the sections in the department, i.e. CBHC, AIDS Education and Prevention Program and NFP, will be formulated and released. On the basis of this policy guideline, the Health Board, unit management committees and other grassroots structures shall be reactivated.

v. A community-Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS) shall be established in units and Parishes.

vi. A planning and budgeting cycle will be introduced for health units and programs in the diocese.

vii. The department shall involve key stakeholders in formulating a cost-sharing system that focuses on financial sustainability of the department, units and programs.

viii. A monitoring and evaluation system will be designed for the units and programs.

ix. The department will design a bookkeeping system and introduce it in the units, institutions and programs.