The residents of Ore, Wasimbete Ward in Migori County, have finally sensed a sigh of hope following a move to operationalize a dispensary that has been stalled for years since its completion.

This is a move by the County Government’s newfound commitment to revitalize the healthcare accessibility in the underserved areas, including revitalizing all the abandoned health facilities.

According to Julius Mirimbo, the area Member of County Assembly, the approach will ensure that all the sub-county hospitals and dispensaries are well equipped with facilities and qualified health staff.

Ore dispensary abandoned and lying lonely in the thickets as the residents travel long distances to seek for healthcare. Photo by Peter Ologi’KTMN

Speaking during the spot check visit to Ore Dispensary, the MCA noted that access to quality healthcare is a basic need to everyone and a should be fully undertaken by the County Government.

“Health is a devolved function and this makes County Government of Migori to be fully responsible for the residents’ well-being,” he said.

He added that as the area representative, he will be up to the task of turning the tide of the dispensary which has been abandoned for the last ten years.

Abandoned buildings

Ore dispensary, which is intended to serve more than 2000 residents, started 10 years ago by the first devolution government is yet to be operationalized.

With the health sector being devolved, it became a key project of county governments under the supervision of a Member of County Assembly.

While other dispensaries thrived right from laying the foundation stone to their operationalization, Ore dispensary has been nothing but a symbol of unfulfilled promises for years.

Having been built to its completion, the dispensary with five rooms has been in darkness being abandoned and rooms left as a breeding place for bats.

Duped by the leaders

While the residents lamenting on the delay by the Ex-Governor, Okoth Obado’s administration to operationalize the dispensary, Margarita Odongo, a peasant land owner has other lamentations.

According to the Widow and a mother of more than five, she donated the land for the county government as the last option.

Margarita says that at the time of donation, the agreement was that the area MCA would educate her two children, both in secondary schools and employ one of the children.

This would be a match for the exchange of the land which was valued at sh800, 000 at that particular time.

Ore residents having a consultative meeting with area MCA on ways to make the dispensary operational. Photo by Peter Ologi; KTMN

For her, immediately the building reached the windows level, delays started with turns and twists of cat and mouse games.

“I feel I was duped, used and dumped by the county government by failing to honour the agreement between us,” she noted.

She was forced to sell another parcel of land in order to educate her children, a move that has left her with limited space, making her rethink of what to do with the already existing building with nothing going on.

Resurrected hope

With the County’s determination to ensure easily accessible healthcare services for the residents, a ray of hope has ensued.

According to residents who spoke to us, operationalizing the dispensary would reduce the distances they travel while seeking health attention.

“The move to operationalize this dispensary has been long overdue and this will mean a lot to most of us who travel long distances to seek health attention for minor diseases,” said David, one of the residents.

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