Construction of a specialized cancer and research hospital has kicked off in Murang’a County.
The facility, estimated to be constructed and equipped at an estimated cost of Sh.2 billion is expected to admit the first patient by January 2021.
On Thursday, Governor Mwangi wa Iria during the ground breaking ceremony for the 7-storey building at Murang’a county hospital said the exercise will be concluded in six months’ time to ensure that local patients received treatment at the facility by January.
He said the 300 bed capacity state-of-art facility will be equipped with modern equipment with potential to diagnose early stages of cancer.
The county boss further observed that construction of the building will go concurrent with employment of health staff to man the centre, who will be taken to India and Spain training.
“Employment of oncologists will be done soonest possible, so as to allow them to go for further training in Spain and India. The county government already has a partnership with Spanish medical facilities,” added Wa Iria.
He observed that tendering for the equipment will also be done from next month so as to prepare early for commissioning of the hospital come next year.
“We have benchmarked with the best hospitals in India and other countries and once this facility is completed, patients in this country will be spared the hustle of seeking cancer treatment in far off hospitals especially from overseas,” he noted.
The governor said that they will establish a medical foundation which will embark on mobilizing resources for effective implementation of the project, arguing that cancer treatment is expensive and the county administration will need to partner with organizations and well-wishers to support the hospital.
With current covid-19 pandemic, Wa Iria observed that many patients are suffering as they cannot access hospitals in India after suspension of international flights.
“Our people are suffering as they cannot travel for treatment in overseas medical facilities. This centre will offer relief and will treat all patients including those from poor backgrounds. The services will be levied at minimal rates to ensure the poor also get treatment.” stated Wa Iria.
County executive member for health, Mr. Joseph Mbai hailed the move saying patients from the county have been struggling to treat cancer.
He said Kenyans who seek cancer treatment especially in India based hospitals use close to 10 billion annually.
“Many people have been unable to meet treatment costs of cancer and with earmarked hospital, early diagnosis of cancer will be done and Kenyans will get cheap and effective treatment,” added Mbai.
The Murang’a administration in the recent past has been putting effort to establish specialized hospitals in the county.
Two months ago, the government commissioned a 35-bed capacity ICU and in Gatanga, an orthopedic facility is about to be completed.
By Bernard Munyao