, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – The construction of a Sh544 million Nairobi East District Hospital is due to be completed by August next year, authorities said on Tuesday.
Speaking during the groundbreaking of the facility in Kayole, Acting Chinese Ambassador Zhou Pingjian said Sh117 million will go into equipping the facility which is being constructed with his government’s support.
He said despite the economic crisis, the Chinese government remained committed to honour its pledges.
“Everybody nowadays is taking about what effect the global financial meltdown will have on the donor community, and they ask us how we will meet our projects. We just tell then that china will not back down on our commitments”
Medical Services Minister Anyang Nyong’o said the ministry plans to rehabilitate some 23 district and sub-district hospitals and two provincial hospitals in the country.
“We have realised that over the last 20 years, we have not had very good investment in our hospitals. To improve equipment, infrastructure and provide adequate personnel,” said Prof Nyong’o.
The Minister said it’s incumbent on the government to ensure affordable and accessible healthcare to Kenyans as they all pay their taxes to facilitate service delivery.
Prof Nyong’o said the ministry was working on reforms in the healthcare sector that would reduce key issues such as high maternal and child morbidity and mortality, malaria, tuberculosis, as well as HIV and AIDS.
“We cannot continue to recite endlessly; so many people are living below the poverty line so many people are dying every day that’s not a very good profession.”
He said the facility will ease pressure on Kenyatta National Hospital and improve the delivery of health services adding that the ministry aims to turn all provincial hospitals into referral facilities in the next three years.
“When this facility is done accessibility won’t be the issue, because since we are working on a comprehensive social health insurance scheme, affordability will not be the issue. Because with an insurance scheme which covers all by 2017, both in and out patient, we are sure that the urban poor will not worry to access this facility.”
Prof Nyong’o said this will release some resources and energies at both KNH and Moi University hospitals to concentrate on research, teaching and handling of only special cases.