NAIROBI: President Uhuru Kenyatta is today expected to sign a Sh38 billion deal that will see public health institutions in all 47 counties fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment in a new drive to boost healthcare in the country.
The Ministry of Health has released information on which hospitals across the country will get the equipment to be installed and maintained by international companies that is supplying them.
In the deal, to be signed at State House Nairobi, Kenyans across the country, including those in areas previously marginalised will be able to access speacialised medical treatment in the counties.
For decades, Kenyans have complained about poor healthcare services in public facilities including lack of key medical equipment, hence hampering diagnosis and treatment of killer diseases like cancer.
In Nairobi County, Mama Lucy Kibaki and Mbagathi District Hospitals will benefit, while in Mombasa the Coast Provincial General Hospital and Likoni Hospital will get the equipment.
And Kisumu County, the beneficiaries will be Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and Kisumu East District Hospital while in Nyeri, the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital and Karatina District Hospital are the beneficiaries.
In Nakuru County, Nakuru Provincial Hospital and Naivasha District Hospital will benefit while in Uasin Gishu County, the beneficiaries are Burnt Forest and Ziwa sub district hospitals. Kericho District Hospital and Sigowet Sub District Hospital are the beneficiaries in Kericho.
In Machalos County, the equipment will be shared among Machakos Level Five Hospital and Kangundo District Hospital while in Meru, they will go to Meru Level Five Hospital and Nyambene Sub District Hospital.
In addition, Narok County will see the Narok District Hospital and Trans Mara District Hospital get equipped while in Lamu County the big gainers are Lamu District Hospital and Faza Hospital. In Turkana County, the equipment will go into Lodwar District Hospital and Lopiding Sub-District Hospital. In Isiolo County, the beneficiaries are Isiolo District Hospital and Garbatulla Sub-District Hospital.
Also on the list of beneficiaries are Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), National Spinal Injury Hospital, Mathare Hospital and Moi Teaching and referral Hospital, which are considered to be national facilities.
“Kenyans in all parts of the country will now have access to fully-equipped public facilities where they can receive diagnosis and treatment. They won’t have to travel to Nairobi any more. We are confident that the long lines of patients at KNH will ease significantly,” said Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.
At least Sh21 billion worth of medical equipment will be for cancer diagnosis and treatment, a disease that is killing at least 27,000 Kenyans annually.
Five international companies, including US based General Electric, won the tender to supply and maintain the equipment for the next seven years.
Medical services Director Nicholas Muraguri said as soon the deal is signed, the companies are expected to begin shipping in the equipment and fitting them into the identified facilities.
“We expect much of the equipment to begin serving Kenyans in the next few weeks and months. The deadline for installation of the last equipment is 12 months after the signing of the deal. That means that by December this year, everything will be in place,” he said.
However, Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentist Union Secretary General Fred Oluga expressed concern that without increasing the number of health workers in the counties and enhancing their motivation through higher remuneration, the anticipated health care boost for Kenyans may not materialise.