The Tharaka Nithi department of Health is headed by Hon. Magdalene Njeru, the County Executive Committee member for health services responsible for the overall planning, implementation and coordination of the departmental roles and functions. She is supported by Mr. Walter Mutegi who is the Accounting Officer and Dr. Thiongo, the County Director of Health Services in charge of the technical aspects of the department.
The activities of the department are structured into more than 10 operational units within which the departmental tasks are planned, organized, coordinated and controlled. These units also create the foundation for apportionment of duties, responsibilities and membership to the county health management team. Jointly, the units provide a continuum of care ranging from curative, preventive, promotive and rehabilitative health services. In particular, the department advances environmental and sanitation services, maternal and child health services, laboratory services, obstetrics and gynaecology services, general surgery and anaesthesia, dental services, psychiatry, ear, nose and throat services, ophthalmology, dermatology, accident and emergency services, referral services, training and technical supervision, non-clinical support services among other basic and specialized care services. In addition, the sector provides ICU (intensive care unit) and HDU (high dependency unit) services.
A County free from preventable diseases and ill health through a cost effective medical care system for a Healthy county.
To provide effective leadership and participation in the provision of high quality health care services that are equitable, responsive, accessible and accountable to all the people of Tharaka Nithi
Goals of the Department of Health
• To prevent and reduce ill-health among people living in Tharaka Nithi County
• To strengthen the current public health interventions and embrace new innovations to foster economic growth
• Strategic Thrusts in improving equitable access to health care, rehabilitative and Maintenance services
• To improve quality, efficiency and responsiveness of public health and sanitation services
• To foster partnership in improving financing to the County Health sector
This unit is responsible for the provision quality clinical, forensic and pathology services. In addition, the unit participates in emergency and disaster management across all levels of care. The unit is currently run by 66 clinical officers. Amongst these officers, 14 have undergone specialized trainings and therefore provide specialized care while the rest provide general services. In addition, the unit is supported by two Plaster Technicians.
John M. Mbogo
Head Clinical Services
The nursing unit is the cornerstone of the Department of Health Services. It plays an essential role not only in the physical and emotional care of patients and clients, but in the management of social issues, health promotion, disease prevention and monitoring of disease trends. Nursing is a profession of caring and service to those in need both in the health care setting and in the community. To guarantee quality of nursing care, the department has ensured that all the nurses engaged in the public service within the County are registered and regulated by the Nursing Council of Kenya.
Generally, the unit of nursing is responsible for outpatient and inpatient nursing services including general and specialised care in mental health, inpatient care, midwifery, ophthalmology, paediatrics, critical care, peri-operative care and Ophthalmology. In addition, the unit provides primary health care especially in the rural health facilities, Maternal Neonatal Health services, Family planning/Reproductive health & Child Health services, Immunizations services and management of Vaccines, Community health nursing services including Home Based Care, Essential commodity management and training of Nurse Trainees.
Rose G. Micheni
Head Nursing Services
The unit of Health administration and support services is an integral component for an effective and efficient service delivery system. The unit is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating and organization of daily tasks as required by the health system. In addition, the unit coordinates the evaluation of staffing, employee schedules, and human resource tasks, such as employee relations and supervision of support services. Maintenance of health infrastructure also constitutes a big chunk of the responsibilities assigned to this unit. In particular, the unit oversees the maintenance of buildings and equipment as well as maintaining an efficient transport system for smooth service delivery. Lastly, the unit is mandated to ensuring compliance with all health laws and regulations that govern health system operations.
Mr. Jonathan V. Mutua
County Health Administrator
The unit of public health and sanitation is one of the oldest departments in the Ministry of Health. The first public health officer, then called a sanitary inspector was employed in 1907. The title has undergone several changes to the current Public Health Officer and public health technician. Public health officers are appointed under the public health act (cap 242) section 9 (1). They carry out duties as specified in the public health act (cap 242), food, drugs and chemical substances act (cap 254) among others.
The unit plays a leading role in prevention and control of preventable diseases. In particular, the unit oversees sanitation and hygiene promotion activities, community health services, food quality and safety control, water safety and quality control, pollution control and appropriate housing, vector and vermin control, occupational health and safety, integrated disease surveillance and control and promotes health through health education. Currently the unit is run by 53 technical staff including 26 Public Health technicians and 27 Public Health officers.
County Public Health Officer
The unit of Health Records and Information is responsible for organizing and managing health data and information. In addition, the unit is mandated to ensure quality and security of the health information in both paper and electronic media. To realize this, the unit employs diverse classification systems to code and categorize patient information for various uses including inpatient reports, insurance reimbursement purposes, for database and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories.
The unit also oversees the implementation of the health electronic document management system, through district health information system (DHIS), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Master Facility List (MFL) and Master Community Unit List (MCUL). At the health facility, health records and information officers assist in records storage and the implementation of the Archives Management Plan. They also process requests from researchers who may require the data for researches related to health. Lastly, the officers facilitate the daily functions of a health facility especially in the documentation of information management system in order to provide an efficient and effective service to the residents of Tharaka Nithi County. The unit runs a web based reporting system (DHIS) where the sub-county health records and information officers post their reports that can be accessed by all stakeholders. The services for this unit are very central for informed planning and decision making.
Eliphelet Gitonga Kathuni
County Health Records & Information officer
Good nutrition is a prerequisite for a healthy society. Scientific enquiries have consistently associated good nutrition to low morbidities, low mortality rates and reduced burden of non-communicable diseases. In Tharaka Nithi County, the unit of nutrition services advances assessment of malnutrition and nutrition related disorders, counseling and management of malnutrition and nutrition related diseases, capacity builds health care workers and provides training and supervisory functions to students on internship programmes.
Simon .M. Nyaga
County Nutrition Officer
This unit coordinates the provision of all community based preventive and demand creation activities organized around the Community Health Strategy. Community Health services offer the first line of Health related contact with the population, provide the bulk of all critical and preventive health services and are cost effective in preventing the onset of all the communicable and preventable disease conditions, which account for more than 80 percent of disease burden in Tharaka Nithi County.
The services are delivered through community Health units (CHUs) comprised of 5000 people in about 1000 households. The Community Health units are functionally linked to other services of health care system by each CHU having a link health facility with which it interacts directly. This link facility is linked to the facilities at the higher levels/tiers of the health system through referrals. Currently, Tharaka Nithi County is served by 28 functional community health units and plans to increase this number to more than 40 CHUs by the end of 2017.
Cornellius M. Muendo
Head Community Health Services
A well-functioning medical laboratory is critical for providing and supporting diagnosis and patient management across all levels of care. The county medical laboratory services supports almost the entire system of service provision including the key components such as curative, preventive, health promotion, surveillance and research and training. Apparently, the unit is mandated to carry out laboratory tests, analyze, interpret and report laboratory results, management of laboratory resources, initiation and participation in the improvement of diagnostic procedures, participation in curriculum reviews, planning and setting laboratories, participation in the training of laboratory personnel and improvement of laboratory standards, supervision of laboratory personnel, maintenance of quality assurance and quality control and evaluation and making decisions in the provision of medical laboratory.
Mr. Daniel M.Murithi
County Laboratory Officer
Tharaka Nithi County government is also focused on addressing a number of priority health problems as identified by the National government. In view to this, the county department of health is participating in specific nationwide health programmes such as AIDS and STI control programme, TB programme and malaria control programme.
AIDS and STI Control Programme
The County AIDS and STI Control Program is involved in the prevention, care and treatment of HIV. It also deals with the control of sexually transmitted diseases. The services supported by the program include HIV testing and counseling, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and Early infant diagnosis (EID), care and treatment of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and blood Safety. All these activities are geared towards attaining a County free of HIV infections and AIDS related deaths.
Dr. Edward Munyi
Malaria Control Programme
According to the routine health facility data, malaria is one of the top ten preventable diseases afflicting the health care system and contributes to more than 30% of the outpatient morbidities. In view to reversing the worsening trend, the County embraced the National malaria control programme and continues to implemented malaria control interventions as outlined in the National Malaria Strategy (NMS) and the National Malaria Policy. In particular, the programme coordinates malaria case management; management of malaria and anaemia during pregnancy; vector control; and epidemic preparedness and control.
County Malaria Control Coordinator
Beyond Zero Campaign
The Tharaka Nithi County beyond Zero Mobile Clinic was launched at Kathwana County Headquarters on 11th Feb 2015 by Her Excellency the First lady, Margaret Kenyatta. The clinic is able to provide most of the basic and some specialized health care services just like the other static facilities. Since its launch, the mobile clinic has been able to reach a substantial population especially in the hard to reach areas of the County.