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Patients and newborns to receive ‘gifts’ on discharge from hospital

Recovered patients and newborns being discharged from Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Othaya Annex will in the near future go home with free fruit seedlings to plant at their homes.

The unique concept is being implemented by Ahadi Kenya Trust, Lotto Foundation and World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) in collaboration with the hospital management.

Speaking during the launch of a tree planting exercise at the hospital, Ahadi Kenya Trust Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Stanley Kamau said that the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country presented challenges citing transportation of vital produce like vegetables and fruits.

“During this Covid (-19) period there are so many challenges that have been there even in the transport of vegetables and fruits. In the next two years, KNH will not be buying fruits, we will have our own from the farm,” Kamau said.

Kamau appealed to other hospitals and learning institutions to emulate the tree fruits planting concept not only for nutrition purposes but also to conserve the environment.

“If they have big parcels of land, instead of buying fruits and vegetables let them plant their own,” said the CEO, who is also a member of KNH board of directors. The fruit seedlings being planted include Avocados, bananas and tree tomatoes.

Tissue culture banana seedlings that are being planted at KHN Othaya Annex for food security and environmental conservation. Photo by Mwangi Gaitha

Kamau said that the project will be duplicated in all hospitals and learning institutions across the country. He at the same time said the health facility endeavors to give quality services to clients and the distribution of fruit trees will be a good memory to KNH Othaya Annex.

“Because we are planning to give very good services here, we want people to always remember Kenyatta National Hospital Othaya, otherwise if we are not going to give good service, we would not like to create any memory of this hospital,” Kamau added.

The CEO said giving newborns a fruit seedling will instill in them a sense to nurture trees as they mature.

His sentiments were echoed by the KNH chairman Mr George Ooko, who said a tree nursery will be established at the health facility. Ooko added that the fruits will boost the nutrition aspect at the facility adding that all construction works that are ongoing will be completed in about two to three months.

Speaking during the same occasion, Lotto Foundation CEO Dr Wangari Mwaura called on other sponsors to start similar projects to conserve the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change that is occurring all over the globe.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe hailed the concept of giving free fruit seedlings to recovered patients and newborns and described it as a first on earth.  “This should go into the Guinness Book of Records. Where on earth have you ever heard of a hospital giving trees to newborns and discharged patients,” Kagwe posed.

He was speaking at KHN Othaya branch yesterday during the official opening of the renovated maternal and newborn units by Safaricom Foundation.

By Mwangi Gaitha


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