, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 25 – Construction of a paediatric emergency centre at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) will begin later this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Richard Lesiyampe.
Lesiyampe said on Wednesday that this would be done through government and donor support.
Once complete, children at the hospital will be treated from this facility which will also have wards.
“We already have funding for that and construction will actually start probably before the end of this year,” the KNH boss said.
“And similarly, we are also having a burns centre which is going to be constructed through the support of some of our donors beginning this year and we have about Sh2 billion grant to do that,” he added.
Currently, there is no public children’s hospital in the country, which Lesiyampe said had led to children being treated and admitted to non-specialised hospitals.
“In the private sector we have some children hospitals and we want to complement them because in the health sector it is not competition but complementing one another,” Lesiyampe said.
KNH which is the largest referral hospital in the country has a 2,000 bed capacity, 50 wards, 24 clinics and 26 operating theatres.
Last year, the hospital received 63,669 paediatric emergency patients.
“We have 500 to 600 children at Kenyatta everyday and putting adults and children together is a major challenge. Most of these children are concentrated in the cancer ward,” he disclosed.
The hospital said it still faced the challenge of increasing demand for specialised health care, emerging and re-emerging diseases, inadequate number of nursing staff, inadequate diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, inability of majority of patients to pay for services offered and inadequate critical care services.
“We have assessed and known where our customers are coming from. We are in negotiation with the City Council of Nairobi to partner with them and revive some of their primary health facilities (health centres),” Lesiyampe stated.