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Kenya to benefit from Sh700m fund

NAIROBI, October 21- Kenya is among nine African countries that are set to benefit from a Sh772 million (US$10 million) worth of product, infrastructure and training plan to improve healthcare delivery services this year.

The program dubbed “Developing Health Globally” by General Electrics (GE) is expected to boost medical services in selected facilities across the country through the provision of an inclusive solution covering donation of healthcare equipment, water provision, energy, communications and infrastructure development.

“In total, 12 health facilities, including referral and district hospitals, maternity and dispensaries will have been complete by the end of 2008,” said the President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Middle East and Africa Nabil Habayeb. The program is already running in Siaya, Sauri and Yala.

He added that under this year’s plan, GE targets a total of 81 facilities in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, and Senegal.

Mr Habayeb said GE will also equip health laboratories with essential products, and provide equipment for patient monitoring, mother-infant care, surgery and radiology.

The program started in 2004 as a $2 million product donation in rural African communities, with the level of assistance graduating in 2005 to $4 million.

In 2006, the assistance increased again to $6 million, through a cooperative partnership called "GE Millennium District Hospitals”, designed to complete rehabilitation work in more than 30 hospitals and clinics in Africa.

“Last year we raised our level of total investment in the program to a $30 million commitment across 11 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia,” said Mr Habayeb.

By 2007, 123 hospitals in Africa had been upgraded with 13 other projects initiated in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda and Senegal.

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The 130-year-old company has been in Africa since 1898 and is focusing on supplying various hi-tech infrastructure products, services and training. Its key businesses in the continent include healthcare, energy, aviation, oil and gas, commercial aviation services among others.

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