Big health care boosts as Nakuru unveils yet another medical facility

After the County Government initiated construction of the seventh Shs 157 million state-of-art medical facility within the devolved unit at the Njoro Level 4 Sub-County Hospital, the provision of health care facilities in Nakuru received yet another significant boost.

A new maternity and neonatal wing, a pharmacy, x-ray machines and modern labs will be available at the standalone complex and it is planned to be operational within the next ten months. An rehabilitation complex, an accident and rescue clinic, an imaging centre and theaters will be located in the hospital, among other critical facilities.

Dr Zachary Kariuki Gichuki, County Executive Committee Member for Wellness, said during the groundbreaking ceremony that the outpatient complex will also deliver the best level of physician preparation and the highest quality of advanced healthcare facilities. He said the new hospital was built to provide 100,000 people of the Sub-County and its adjoining areas with health care facilities. The hospital will have, among other services, trauma/accident and ambulance, obstetrics, gynecology, ophthalmology, pharmacy, radiology and radiotherapy and minor surgical theatres.

“For the last three years, Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s administration has concentrated on delivering quality and accessible medical services to all residents. The facility will add up to 90 per cent of the total Shs 650 million outpatient facilities at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital and the Shs 40 million centre of excellence for mental well being under construction at the Gilgil Sub-County Hospital. The latter will be operational within less than six months.”

The Shs 157 Molo Sub-County Hospital, the Shs 60 million outpatient complex at the Olenguruone Health Center and the Shs 60 million Level 4 health facility at Karuswa in Bahati Sub-County are other health care facilities approaching completion,” explained Dr Gichuki.

Within the next 3 months, the new Shs 330 million outpatient complex at Naivasha Sub-County Referral Hospital is scheduled to be operational. The project is a joint venture between the local and national governments and the Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen).

Dr. Gichuki said investments in modern outpatient units throughout the devolved unit were part of the efforts of the county administration to revamp the health sector of the county and enhance emergency response quality. He said the county administration was focused on decongesting the Teaching and Referral Hospital of Nakuru Level 5 by modernising all sub-county hospitals.

At outpatient facilities across the county, Dr Gichuki noted that malaria, respiratory system diseases, skin diseases, diarrhea, and intestinal parasites were major challenges. He noted that the new facility would provide easily accessible health services in the county and beyond for Kenyans.

“To enhance health care throughout the county, tremendous investment in outpatient health facilities is still needed. We are looking at ways to improve budget allocation and seek donor support”, Dr Gichuki added.

Among other essential facilities, the outpatient wing will also provide medical testing, dental health care and dermatology, according to the county health department.

Within the standalone hospital, the labs, pharmacy and X-ray facilities will be for outpatients only and will ensure quicker and more effective laboratory research, X-ray services and drug distribution processes. Both in-patients and out-patients initially fought for the same services, Dr Gichuki said.

The county operates 184 health services, including clinics, health centres, four-level hospitals and five-level Nakuru Hospital.

Stephen Karanja Kiarie, chairman of the Njoro Level 4 Sub-County Hospital Board, expressed optimism that the project will be completed within the time limits set. “We are glad the contractor is on the site already. The project funds are intact and the project will proceed as expected,” the Chairman added.

The health department in Nakuru had the lion’s share of the Sh15 billion 2020/2021 budget at Kshs 6 billion. This translates into almost 36% of the budget. The construction of such new health infrastructures and the purchase of advanced medical equipment have been allocated a portion of the funds.