The state-of-the-art Sh 330 million outpatient complex at the Naivasha Sub-County Referral Hospital will be operational within the next 18 months.
Nakuru County Executive Committee Member for Health Dr. Zachary Gichuki Kariuki said the long wait was finally over following the completion of tendering process and handing over of the site to a contractor a week ago.
“The project is a joint-partnership between the County and National governments and Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen).
KenGen, the main financiers, oversaw the tendering process and identified a contractor while the county has provided land,” he said.
Dr. Gichuki said the County administration is keen on decongesting the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital by modernising all Sub-county hospitals.
“Together with Kengen we are working to ensure that the outpatient unit will have modern medical facilities so as to ensure patients from Gilgil, Naivasha and its environs get quality and affordable health care services.
We will be deploying more medical doctors, clinical officers, nurses, radiologists and other medical staff to the new facility in order to ensure members of the public do not have to travel far for specialised services,” said the CEC
In December 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the management of KenGen to set aside Sh300m for modernising the Naivasha Sub county Hospital as part of its corporate social responsibility.
The head of state noted that this was the only public hospital serving families working at KenGen and Naivasha town and thus the need to equip and expand it.
“Naivasha sub county hospital currently serves hundreds of patients from the neighbouring counties of Nyandarua, Kiambu and Narok and this project will come in handy,” Dr. Gichuki said.
The CEC said the facility would be equipped with a new trauma centre which will deal with the high number of accidents along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway and the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road.
Once complete the outpatient complex will have a pharmacy, x-ray facilities and modern laboratories and is expected to ease congestions in other health facilities.
“We are experiencing an increased influx of referrals from other hospitals and health centres within the larger Rift Valley. Our strategy is not only to cope with the numbers but mainly to offer quality and affordable disease diagnostic, management and treatment services.
“The laboratories, pharmacy and X-ray facilities within the stand-alone facility will be purely for the out-patients and it will ensure faster and more efficient process of laboratory tests, X-ray services and dispensing of drugs. Currently, both the in-patients and the out-patients have been competing for the same facilities he said,” stated Dr. Gichuki
According to Governor Lee Kinyanjui the investment is part of his administration’s efforts to revamp the county’s health sector and improve efficiency in emergency response.
Kinyanjui noted malaria, diseases of the respiratory system, skin diseases, diarrhoea, and intestinal parasites were major challenges at outpatient facilities around the county. The new facility he noted would provide easily accessible health services for this and other conditions to Kenyans in the county and beyond.
“Huge investment in outpatient health facilities is still needed to improve health services across the county. We are looking at avenues towards increasing budgetary allocation and looking for donor support.
Kinyanjui noted that some of the recurrent medical conditions that over burden the outpatient care facilities include injuries sustained in accidents, urinary tract infections, eye infections, rheumatism and lifestyle diseases. Combined, these conditions account for nearly four-fifths of the total outpatient cases reported,” noted the governor.
The Outpatient complex is a boon to governor Kinyanjui’s Shs 1 billion facelift programmes initiated at the Nakuru Level 5 Referral Hospital in response to the increased number of patients seeking services at the facility.
The chairman to Naivasha Sub-County Referral Hospital board Simon Kanyingi expressed optimism that the project would be completed within the set timelines.
Kanyingi admitted that congestion had been a challenge to the facility, noting that this would be a thing of the past when the new wing is completed.
“The delay in starting the project was due to the slow procurement process which included Treasury giving its nod and we are happy that this has been done and the contractor is already on the site,” he said.
At Sh 6 billion, the health department in Nakuru got the lion’s share of the Sh15 billion 2019/2020 budget. This translates to nearly 36 percent of the budget. A chunk of the funds has been allocated towards construction of such new health infrastructures and procurement of modern medical equipment.
By Jane Ngugi