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A medical worker demonstrates modern equipment at the Kenyatta University's Referral Hospital in Nairobi on September 10, 2020.

Kenya

Uhuru assures of commitment to development while calming political tensions

NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 10 – President Uhuru Kenyatta says the country is making steady progress towards achieving the dream of a prosperous, equitable and happy society despite raging political tensions sparked by early campaigns for the 2022 presidential election.

The President urged Kenyans to remain focused on the country’s transformation agenda, saying he will continue working towards a better quality of life for all.

“This morning, as I boarded my car to come to this function, I made a silent prayer of thanksgiving. I made this prayer well aware that whereas we still have some ground to cover, we are, nonetheless, making steady progress towards our dream of a prosperous, equitable and happy society,” he said, at a time politicians across the country are engaged in name-calling and even dragging his mother into politics.

He has told off critics like Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi and Johanna Ng’eno of Emurua Dikirr, who have resorted in dragging Kenyatta’s mother, Mama Ngina into politics.

“I already said that I am focussing on development and I do not want to engage in politics with anyine,” he said on Wednesday in Ruaka, “Those who are looking for me by insulting my mother should stop. They should leave my mother along and out of politics.”

On Thursday, President Kenyatta was in Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital (KUTRRH) in Kiambu County where he launched the Sh8 billion facility.

The new referral hospital is a level six health facility whose completion will help boost the country’s push towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), one of the government’s Big 4 development agenda.

The President observed that the ultra-modern 650-bed capacity hospital, including a 76-bed oncology centre and a 20-bed renal unit, is at par with leading hospitals in the world.

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“With this oncology centre, which is one of its kind in the region, the hospital is able to provide early diagnosis and possible management options of cancer and renal diseases. I am informed this will greatly reduce costs and significantly boost recovery rates of our (cancer) patients,” he said.

The renal unit has been equipped with ultra-modern dialysis machines and a water treatment system through a partnership between KUTRRH and Angelica Medical, a local medical equipment supplier.

Besides being a regional centre of excellence in kidney health, the renal unit will provide advanced nephrology nursing training for medical professionals to be deployed across the country.

As a step towards the achievement of UHC, the Head of State said the government has established a mentorship program through which level six hospitals are helping to upgrade delivery of critical services in level five health facilities.

He said the strategy has seen Kenyatta National Hospital establish an annex at Othaya Hospital in Nyeri, and commended Kiambu Governor James Nyoro for signing an agreement between Gatundu Level 5 hospital and KUTRRH for a similar arrangement.

“This will lead to the upgrading of referral and training services at the Gatundu Hospital as well as facilitating the gradual upgrading of Gatundu Hospital to level 6 status,” the President said.

Besides opening of KUTRRH, the President, who made an extensive guided tour of the hospital complex commissioned the construction of an Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre (IMIC) which when complete, will be the first ever comprehensive public cancer centre in the region.

The President also laid a foundation stone for the hospital’s hospitality centre which will cater for the accommodation and hospitality needs of patients and their families.

“I believe with the impressive equipment, infrastructure, broad service range and highly trained staff; I foresee the KU Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital becoming a leader not just in this country but in our region and also the continent,” he said.

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The President, who witnessed the signing of two partnership agreements between KUTRRH and Gatundu Hospital, and another with the University of Manchester and UK’s Christie NHS Foundation Trust, observed that the new hospital’s advanced equipment and quality service will help position Kenya as a medical tourism destination.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and KUTRRH Chairperson Prof Olive Mugenda also spoke at the event attended by Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, Cabinet Secretaries Joe Mucheru (ICT), Prof Margaret Kobia (Public Service), and Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua among other senior state officials.

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