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NMS: This is how we spent Covid-19 funds

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has come out to clear the air over the expenditure of millions of shillings donated to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

This comes after the Nairobi County Assembly put the government entity on the spot over the utilisation of the funds.

The Major General Mohamed Badi-led administration received Sh294 million from the national government towards response to Covid-19 control.

This was part of Sh7.7 billion advanced to the counties in conditional grants as part of urgent Covid-19 interventions with Sh5 billion as conditional grants, Sh2.3 billion as allowance for frontline health workers and grants from Danida totalling Sh350 million.

Kayole Central MCA Jeremiah Themendu, in a request for statement, wanted the assembly’s committee on health to inquire and report back to the House, the total amount of the Covid-19 funds received by NMS and their breakdown in terms of utilisation.

This is after a special audit report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu had exposed mismanagement of Covid-19 funds by county governments, citing delays to procure critical supplies that might have exposed the public to infections.

In their response tabled by health committee chairperson Peter Warutere, NMS said Sh114.3 million was spent on establishment of a treatment centre at Mbagathi Hospital where two blocks were to be renovated to accommodate Coronavirus patients, with the renovations still ongoing.

The money was also spent on procurement of various equipment worth Sh70 million by the hospital team, said the entity.

Another Sh80 million was allocated for building of a 160-bed make shift isolation facility at Mbagathi Hospital with Sh36 million already paid as down payment and construction is 95 percent complete.

Recruitment of health care workers (HCW) to support isolation and treatment centers cost Sh45.4 million with 254 assorted healthcare professionals recruited and hired from November, 2020.

Further, Sh30 million was spent constructing a 190-bed capacity Lady Griffiths Hostel isolation center at the Kenya Medical Training Center (KMTC), with Sh20 million reallocated for Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

Another Sh12.4 million, up from a Sh8.8 million budget, was spent on establishing a 90-bed capacity isolation center at Pumwani School of Nursing and procuring hospital pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceuticals.

NMS also spent Sh10 million on public health interventions, including waste disposal, mortuary services, fumigation, and health promotion.

A total of Sh5.9 million went towards administrative support including facilitation, fuel and airtime

“World Bank donated Sh17.6 million through DANIDA which is still at Special Purpose Account at the Central Bank and NMS has not accessed the same due to the need for change of signatories,” said Mr Warutere.

“This Hon. Speaker, is something that needs to be fast tracked. We are working with the committee to ensure that this is done and harmonised,” he added.

Mr Themendu also wanted a response on the actual number of supplemental oxygen and ventilators in county facilities and whether NMS and the County Executive procured the same using Covid-19 fund.

The response by NMS went ahead to say that 27 ventilators are currently at Mama Lucy Hospital whereby 18 were donated by World Bank, five by USAID and four initially procured by the hospital.

Mbagathi Hospital had two ventilators procured by NMS using the Covid-19 funds with four at Pumwani Hospital donated by World Bank through the Ministry of Health.