Nairobi Women’s Hospital opens Sh250m facility
Posted Tuesday, September 27 2011 at 00:00
The Nairobi Women’s Hospital has opened a medical training college and a new Branch at Ongata Rongai using the Sh260 million cash injection by Africa Health Fund, a private equity financier.
The 75-bed facility includes a gender recovery centre dedicated to treating victims of sexual violence.
It would also house the headquarters of the hospital’s new venture, a medical training collage that will train nurses and clinical officers.
“Our business plan is to have a medical training school at each of our hospital premises,” said the Nairobi Women’s Hospital CEO, Dr Sam Thenya. “In four years time, we plan to have a full medical university.”
The hospital financed the Sh250 million facility using $2.66 million (Sh260.6 million) it received last year from the Africa Health Fund, a private equity owned by the International Finance Corporation, Africa Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and DEG, a German development financier.
The objective of the Africa Health Fund is to increase access to quality and affordable healthcare especially to low income people in Africa. It was not clear what stake the private equity fund acquired in the hospital.
The medical school would become a new stream of revenue for the private hospital that has branches in Adams Arcade, Hurlingham, Masaba and now at Ongata Rongai town.
The hospital plans to employ majority of the nurses who would be trained at the college. Dr Thenya said the hospital plans to set up facilities in Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu in its next phase of expansion. The medical college would train about 200 students annually.
The case of job market for nurses in Kenya is unique, public hospitals face a biting shortage of the health workers while there are more than 5,000 who are unemployed because of constrained budget allocation to ministries dealing with healthcare.
A study the International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing conducted last year found that almost every functional public health facility is under-staffed with more than 500 of 2,000 plus dispensaries not having a single nurse.
While this is expected to change because of the increasing budgetary allocations to ministries and the constitutional requirement that the government provides quality and affordable healthcare for all, jobless nurses could find opportunities in the East Africa Community that now allows free movement of labour.
At least 1,300 nurses graduate from Kenya’s 53 nurses training institutions, the largest being the Kenya Medical Training College in Nairobi that has a network of 23 constituent mid-level colleges with 6,000 student nurses of the 10,865-student population.