The Kisii county government has signed a Sh2 billion contract for the development of a cancer centre. The Kisii Cancer Centre will serve the entire Nyanza region and parts of Rift Valley. The devolution of health services, which has long been a dream for millions of Kenyans, is finally coming true. A number of other counties have also signed deals with foreign development partners and suppliers, setting up, for instance, dialysis and children’s centres.

Counties must roll out devolved health facilities in the right, smart and most effective ways. Dialysis, heart and children’s centres should not all be concentrated in one county or spread thin and unsustainably across too many counties. What the counties should do is agree among themselves what clusters go where and serve which regions.

The counties should be cautious about getting the money to fund the building of these complexes but not plan for the running costs. The medical centres must be sustainable for the long term if they are to serve the people in the counties and ease the tremendous pressure on the cities. This way, many more lives will be saved.

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