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Sh15 million outpatient facility to benefit Nakuru residents

Better times are beckoning for residents of Nakuru West Sub-County after the County Government kicked off construction of a Sh15 million outpatient facility to meet the growing demand for health services in the region.

The two-storeyed complex at the Rhonda Health Centre is expected to be operational within seven months.

While overseeing the ground-breaking ceremony at the site, County Health Infrastructural Coordinator Mr. Gerald Maina expressed optimism that the project will be completed and equipped within schedule.

“We are committed to bringing quality and affordable health care services closer to the residents by modernising all Sub-county hospitals. This will also decongest the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital, which attends to more than 2,000 cases per day,” stated Mr. Maina.

Mr. Maina, who was accompanied by Kaptembwa Ward Member of County Assembly Mr. Peter Kajwang’, Nakuru West Sub County Administrator Ms. Pamela Tum, and Kaptembwa Ward Coordinator Ms. Jackline Kibui, said the modern facility will serve residents of Kaptembwa, Mwariki, Kwa Ronda, Baruti, and Ponda Mali estates.

Once complete, he added, the outpatient complex will have a pharmacy, x-ray machines, and modern laboratories and is expected to ease congestion in other health facilities.

“We are experiencing an increased influx of referrals from other hospitals and health centres within the larger Rift Valley. Our strategy is not only to cope with the numbers but mainly to offer quality and affordable disease diagnostic, management, and treatment services. The laboratories, pharmacy, and X-ray facilities within the standalone facility will be purely for out-patients to ensure a faster and more efficient process of laboratory tests, X-ray services, and dispensing of drugs,” he said.

Maina noted that malaria, respiratory system, skin, diarrhoea, and intestinal parasite diseases were major challenges at outpatient facilities around the county. Adding the new facility would provide easily accessible health services for Kenyans in the county and beyond.

“Huge investments in outpatient health facilities are still needed to improve health services across the county. We are looking at avenues for increasing budgetary allocation and looking for donor support. There is a need to realise that frequent health problems, including accidental injuries, urinary tract infections, eye infections, rheumatism, and other infections, are handled by outpatient facilities. Combined, these leading conditions account for nearly four-fifths of the total outpatient cases reported,” Maina noted.

He said the facility was part of Governor Susan Kihika’s upgrade programme of health care facilities across the 11 Sub-Counties in the region.

“Our target is to have modern inpatient and outpatient facilities in every Sub-County. We are also establishing trauma centres at the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital and at Naivasha and Salgaa to cater for accident victims,” he added.

He noted that the outpatient wing will also offer the highest standard of medical training and top-quality specialised healthcare services, explaining that the new facility has been designed to offer healthcare services to 200,000 residents from the Sub-County and surrounding areas.

Maina said investment in modern outpatient units across the devolved unit was part of the county administration’s efforts to revamp the county’s health sector and improve efficiency in emergency response.

The County administration, he noted, was keen on decongesting the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital by modernising all Sub-county hospitals.

The Level 5 hospital serves more than eight counties in the South Rift region, including Bomet, Kericho, Samburu, Baringo, Nyandarua, and Laikipia, where 2,000 patients are treated daily, 750 of them being inpatients.

The county runs 184 health facilities, including dispensaries, health centres, level four hospitals, and the Nakuru Level Five Hospital.

By Jane Ngugi and Angela Cherotich

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