Residents of Garbatulla in Isiolo County have breathed sigh of relief following the upgrading of power supply at the sub-county hospital to three phase.
This now paves way for the utilisation of multimillion shillings equipment leased by national government to the county, which have been lying idle at the hospital for several years due to inadequate electricity supply.
The residents have been incurring extra expenses traveling to Isiolo town, about 150 kilometres away, to access imaging, among other services, as the hospital's power supply could not run the radiology equipment.
Among the equipment leased under the Managed Equipment Service (MES) include anaesthetic machines, mammogram and ultrasound machines for which the county government has been paying Sh200 million annually since their delivery five years ago.
Isiolo Health Chief Officer Ibrahim Alio said all the equipment including a computerised tomography (CT-Scan) machine and the theatre are now fully operational, adding that enough personnel had been employed to run them.
Among those recently employed to accommodate the growing number of patients seeking services at the Garbatulla hospital are four theatre nurses, two anaesthetists and two clinical officers.
"All the services are available and we are glad that Garbatulla residents will no longer travel for long distances," Mr Alio told the Nation.
He said three successful caesarean section deliveries, including two emergency ones from Kombola, were recently conducted at the hospital.
Mr Hassan Noor, a resident, said the upgrade was a huge relief to them as they were previously incurring a lot of expenses traveling to Isiolo town for the services.
"We are so happy that the imaging services are now available and appeal to the county government to add more health workers as the number of patients visiting the hospital is high," Mr Noor said.
Mr Alio said plans are underway to upgrade power supply at Merti Sub-County Hospital to allow the running of the idle machines in order to rid residents of the struggle of seeking the services at private hospitals, which is costly.
This will allow full operation of the theatre besides supporting the running of an x-ray and ultrasound machines that will be deployed to the Merti hospital to ensure that residents access imaging services.