BY GEOFFREY ANGUPALE
TEREGO: Saturday, July 31, 2021
Ocia health centre III was established by the Save the Children in Omugo-Rhino Camp refugee extension and handed to Terego district on Thursday after a year of transition period.
The construction of the facility began in 2017 to improve health service delivery for 45,000 Refugees in Omugo zone III and IV and the local population from Ojia village in Ndapi parish, Omugo sub-county.
It cost sh1.11 billion (USD$312,724) to construct, equip and manage for one year with funding from the former Department for International Development of the United Kingdom and the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the US State Department.
Christopher Koober, the Save the Children area manager, explained that sh910m was used to build the structures including sanitation facilities, Outpatients department and Inpatients Department, staff accommodation, purchase and installation of water tanks and fencing.
Additional sh217m was spent on equipment and inventory and sh37m on essential medicines and supplies.
While handing over the control and management of the facility, Koober implored the government to maintain the current level of service which is far above what one can find at a health centre III.
“This is the apex of our transition, I know there will be disruption in service delivery but it should not go below 50% as we try to get things together,” he said.
As part of the transitional preparation, a supplier’s number has already been secured from the National Medical Stores for Ocia health centre and it has started receiving primary healthcare funds.
“Maintain the staff whose contracts are going to expire because a health facility requires three things – the structures, staffing and drugs,” Koober advised.
He says the breakdown of the health unit in the near future will compromise the initial target and focus.
Prior to the construction of the medical centre, all the refugee and host community used to trek long distances to a health centre operated by the International Rescue Committee in Omugo Zone II that often choked of congestion.
However Geoffrey Niku, an assistant chief administrative officer in Terego swiftly stepped up to allay Koober’s fears by assuring that the facility has been taken over by a competent body that will address the unforeseen challenges.
“Save the children identified a competent next of kin that will be able to support the health unit. This facility is more of a hospital because the infrastructure is adequate by our standard, we just need a theater and a doctor for it to qualify,” Niku said.
Currently, Ocia health centre has 14 members of staff including one clinical officer who is the in-charge, four nurses, and three midwives, one health assistant, one laboratory technician, data clerk and guards.
Denis Mbaguta, the commandant of Rhino Camp Refugee settlement pledged to rally more implementing partners to support the facility even after the government takeover.