YUMBE. The construction works of the two elevated Mocha health centre III in Midigo sub-county and Kerwa health centre III in Kerwa sub-county in Yumbe district has reached the final stage.

The ministry of health elevated the two health facilities from health centre II to health centre III status last financial year and allocated funds for the construction of the facilities.

The contract works were awarded to Abude construction company limited at a cost of shs966m with each facility costing shs483m but the work delayed due to late award of the contract.

While monitoring the projects on Tuesday, Mr Bernard Ayimani, the Yumbe district engineer said the ministry of health initially planned for the construction of general wards, staff accommodation and ventilated improved pit latrines in the two health facilities.

But he said for Kerwa health facility, the plan for a general ward changed to the outpatients’ department (OPD) to avoid duplication of work.

"A general ward contains a maternity ward and other wards so, when the general ward was planned, we found that there was already a general ward constructed at Kerwa health facility including a maternity ward and it would be duplication of work if what was planned by the ministry was done," he said.

"Having realised that Kerwa health centre was lacking OPD, with consultation from the district health officer (DHO), the ministry and other stakeholders, we decided to put OPD structure instead of the general ward including staff accommodation and latrines at the facility," he added.

Ayimani said the works have now reached the final stage and that by April this year, the two facilities will be ready for commissioning if the contractor doesn't face any other challenges.

According to Dr. Alfred Yayi, the Yumbe DHO, the government is going in a phased way to upgrade health centre IIs to health centre III status but not all of them.

He said if there is a sub-county without a health centre III and has a health centre II, they simply upgrade its facility.

"Last financial year, Yumbe was among those districts supported but in the current financial year, we have not been supported," Yayi said.

"We are hopeful that next financial year, other health centre IIs might be picked for upgrading because we still have a number of sub-counties that don't have health centre IIIs so, we will continue to work with the ministry to lobby for support in upgrading other health centre IIs," Yayi added.

He said the upgrading is going to be a gradual process because there are so many health centre IIs in the country that need to be upgraded.

Yayi stressed that there were 17 health centre IIs in the district but since the two have been upgraded, they are left with 15 of them.