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Kenyatta Hospital buys new dialysis unit

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has now purchased another Reversal Osmosis Equipment for the Renal Unit at a cost of Sh3.4 million.

This followed a breakdown on Friday that had paralysed operations at the sensitive hospital’s Renal Unit.

“The new machine was installed on Saturday with a capacity to supply 1.7m3 per hour of purified water and is efficient and functioning to full capacity,” KNH Chief Executive Officer Dr Jotham Micheni said on Monday.

The Reversal Osmosis equipment is the central machine that feeds to the dialysis machines and is used as a treatment process for removal of dissolved impurities and bacteria to provide pure water. Its breakdown meant that the dialysis machines could not work.

Currently the hospital has 13 dialysis machines in operation.

KNH had on Sunday said it had hired the machine as it awaited spare parts from Sweden to repair the previous one.

Addressing a news conference, Dr Micheni said the hospital had made a decision to purchase a new machine because it would take about two months to import the spares of the faulty machine.

“This will be possible once the company in Sweden resume their normal operations from summer holidays,” he said.

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Dr Micheni added that 45 patients had gone through their normal dialysis since Saturday night after the new purchase was made.

He said the broken down machine had served the hospital since 1998 and its membranes had now become clogged.

“The machine was already due for replacement. Any medical equipment has a technological lifespan of about five years,” Dr Micheni said.

He said once the broken down machine was repaired, it would serve as a back up for the new one to avoid such a recurrence and added that the hospital had been grappling with the challenge of repairing old equipment.

The hospital chief executive also said there was need for the referral institution to be supported from the exchequer to buy important machines needed for its operations.

“We only get a budgetary allocation of Sh3.3 billion which goes to payment of salaries. The rest of the hospital operations are funded from user fees and development partners,” he said.

Up to 150 renal patients undergo dialysis at KNH, the largest referral hospital in East and Central Africa twice a week.

Dr Micheni said there was need to equip provincial hospitals with dialysis machines to avoid stretching KNH.

According to, dialysis is a procedure that is substitute for many of the normal duties of the kidneys. It can allow individuals to live productive and useful lives even though their kidneys no longer worked adequately.

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Dialysis can be used for very sick patients who have suddenly but temporarily lost their kidney function, also known as acute renal failure or stable patients who have permanently lost their kidney function, also referred to as chronic kidney disease.


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