Residents of Kasambara in Eburu- Mbaruk Ward in Gilgil sub County, will soon enjoy the services of an abandoned donor funded hospital that the County Government of Nakuru hopes to manage.
The Rhein Valley Hospital situated in Eburru-Mbaruk Ward may soon be reopened under the management of the County, with the residents warming up to its operationalisation to ease access to healthcare
The hospital, closed its doors three years ago, when the community clashed with the donors from Switzerland on its ownership. The community had donated five acres of land on which the donors build and equipped the facility at a cost of Sh150 million.
The 13 bed capacity hospital that had afforded the residents a 19-year service is still in good shape and fully equipped, with the community and the county government working on a proper legal framework for its management and operation.
Speaking during a public participation forum held at the facility, County Secretary Dr Samuel Mwaura noted that the County Government of Nakuru will need to carefully consider the legal framework required to operationalise the facility and ensure that it is sustainable in the long run.
“This hospital has a catchment population of 4,000, mainly from Kasambara and Thugunui locations with great potential to be a valuable resource for health care services,” noted County Executive for Health Ms Jacqueline Osoro.
The residents, who remembered the facility with nostalgia termed it as a ‘friend indeed’ with a number having survived by a whisker when they were resuscitated at the facility before being transferred to Nakuru Level 5 hospital, 25 KM away.
“The facility was well equipped and would afford us the much needed services at low costs. Its closure was a blow to us as accessibility to the nearest facility was a problem,” said Jane Mungaru.
Present at the forum, area Member of the County Assembly Mike Gathanwa, who said the reopening of the Rhein Valley Hospital would be a significant development for the local community and would help to improve access to quality healthcare services, hoping that the community and the county will successfully conclude on the matter.
The community had differed with the then manager Ruth Schafer, noting that the initial agreement was for the donor to build on the locals’ land, then have them manage and not as she claimed that it was solely donor funded.
By Anne Sabuni