The Ministry of Finance has started implementing a presidential directive to increase lunch allowances for nurses and midwives to improve their working conditions.

This was revealed as the ministry released the funds for the first quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year, which largely focused on the health sector and more specifically on the fight against COVID-19. In total 5,673.28 billion has been released for the first quarter, representing 25 per cent of the approved government budget, excluding external financing and public debt.

For this, a supplementary expenditure of 206 billion Shillings was provided for the health sector largely to cater for the requirements for controlling the pandemic.  At least 94.9 billion Shillings will be spent on the provision of oxygen, while 67.5 billion Shillings will go towards logistical expenses, staff expenses and case management, among others.

Hospital infrastructure including Intensive Care and High Dependency Units and hospital beds have been given 11.5 billion Shillings and another 27.8 billion Shillings goes to the revitalization of the Village Health Teams, which Ocailap says, will be vital in containing the second wave of the pandemic. 218 billion has been released for the purchase of vaccines.