Plans are underway to construct a Level 4 hospital in Athena, Kamenu ward, in Thika Subcounty, Kiambu County.
The decision was made after the Department of Health in Kiambu County held a public participation forum in Thika involving members of the public on the construction of new health facilities in the Sub County.
The residents decried congestion at Thika Level 5 hospital stating that the facilities at the hospital were not enough to service the ever-growing population.
“The hospital is currently serving patients from Murang’a, Ukambani, Kiambu and Nairobi. The medical staff is therefore overwhelmed and most times we the residents of Thika fail to get the necessary services that we need,” said John Kamau, a resident of Township ward.
Anne Njeri, a public health official at the Ministry of Health said the decision to build any medical facility was based on the population of a particular ward and that the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPD) was in charge of the classification of medical facilities in the country.
“The health facilities range from Level 2 to 6 and their classification is based on the services, infrastructure and human resource attending to patients.”
“Currently there are 5 wards in Thika, Township, Kamenu, Hospital, Gatuanyaga and Ngoliba with each ward having a maximum of 3 government facilities. Kamenu ward has the highest population at 192,032 people and only one government facility.
“Since all the health facilities in all the wards are either Level 1 or 2 , we have therefore found it necessary to build a level 4, to cater for the increased needs of the population, this idea has been unanimously agreed by all members present at the forum,” said Njeri.
A level 4 hospital requires more specialized personnel than Level 1,2 or 3 health centers with at least 16 resident medical officers, two anesthesiologists, two general surgeons, two gynecologists’, two peadiatricians and two radiologists. The least number of clinical officers that such a hospital should employ is 195 specialists with 76 special nurses, 4 pharmacists, 2 clinical pharmacists and 8 pharmaceutical technologists.
The facility should also be built on five acres of land with 150 bed capacity for inpatient services i.e., 30 beds each for male, female, paediatric, antenatal and postnatal wards, with the ability to manage medical, surgical, paediatric and gynaecological in patients, radiology services, renal dialysis, tuberculosis management and mortuary and autopsy services.
Speaking to KNA, Daniel Njuguna a resident of Kamenu ward said he was happy that a new hospital would be available to the population.
“This means the health of the local community will be well taken care of because we all know that health is wealth and as long as we have our health taken care of, we will have time to focus on our businesses, jobs and families and we will prosper in all these areas,” said Mr. Njuguna.
By Hellen Lunalo