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KNH operationalizes new renal center

The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has operationalized the new renal center marking a key milestone in the delivery of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by providing cheap and accessible renal services.

This comes as a sigh of relief for kidney patients in Kenya and the region at large who used to travel abroad to countries like India and South Africa to seek treatment.

Dr. Longino Mucheusi (right), explains to Truphosa Awuor, Director Presidential Delivery Unit, Dr. Anthony Nderitu, an Oncologist at Kenyatta National Hospital and Gideon Ombongi (left), Deputy County Commissioner Kibera when they led the Nairobi County Development Implementation Coordination Committee members during an inspection site visit on development projects funded by the Government today at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Photo By Wickliff Ananda

KNH head of the Renal Department Dr. Patrick Mbugua said that the operationalization of the new center will go a long way in improving the country’s training and renal treatment as well as saving patients the expensive trips abroad.

“The center is offering training for different cadres in the medical profession including post graduate doctors who want to be specialists. Currently we have 12 doctors training to become specialists with some from countries across the region like Uganda and Botswana,” said Dr. Mbugua.

Speaking on Wednesday during a tour of the hospital by the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU), Dr. Mbugua explained that before the center was operationalized, medical students wishing to become specialists would go for training in other countries like India, South Africa and Europe which was expensive.

Dr. Mbugua highlighted that the center has a 16 bed capacity with other services like a dialysis clinic, pre-transplant clinic, and post-transplant clinic among others.

“We conducted eight kidney transplants between June and December 2021. With the operationalization of the new center we aim to be doing two to three transplants per week for patients both from Kenya and the region,” said Mbugua.

“The immunology laboratory for tissue matching for kidney donors and the recipients was not available in the country and we used to send the sample to India or South Africa and it would take between one to two weeks to get results. In our new renal center we are getting results in 24 hours which makes treatment easier and cheaper for our patients,” said Dr. Mbugua.

PDU Director in charge of Nairobi region Truphosa Awour said that the government has distributed dialysis machines across the country through the managed equipment services and KNH is assisting by training professionals to handle the machines.

Awuor said that affordable health is a key deliverable under the UHC and a success story for KNH is a success for Kenya as a nation.

KNH head of the Finance Department Dr. Michael Kihuga said that the Cancer Treatment Centre (CTC) is under construction and the first phase is 95 per cent complete.

Dr. Kihuga said that the new cancer center will help address the backlog in treating patients explaining that they have 90 patients on treatment and another 120 on the waiting list and they are in dire need of radiotherapy machines and other facilities like bankers.

“The new Cancer Treatment Centre will boost capacity building in the country since all the other cancer treatment centers across the country depend on KNH for training of doctors and other personnel,” explained Dr. Kihuga.

KNH has also completed the construction of the surgical daycare center which will be handling minor surgeries like fractures that allow patients to be treated and go home the same day with Dr. Kihuga saying that the move will decongest the main hospital.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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