Nairobi is set to have 10 more health facilities operating on 24-hour basis in part of efforts to cut long queues and ease pressure on Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
Nairobi county government said 10 healthcare facilities will be upgraded to level four hospitals this financial year, enabling them to act as the coordinating and referral centres for the over 70 other smaller centres it operates.
County Executive Committee Member for Health Services, Dr Hitan Majevda said the project, to be completed by November, will benefit centres such as Ngara, Westlands, Dandora, Lang’ata and Mukuru.
He would, however, not state how much of the county’s Sh6.9 billion budget for 2018/19 will be spent on the upgrade.
Ideally, a level four hospital should offer obstetrics and gynecology, child health, accident and emergency services as well as non-clinical support and referral services.
Once the 10 centres are upgraded and equipped, they are expected to ease pressure on level five hospitals by taking over the provision of a number of basic health services to the community.
“The upgrades have already been budgeted for and once we are done the impact will be felt in the county especially at KNH, which has been struggling,” said Dr Majevda adding that City Hall had already acquired 27 ambulances for the project.
He said two trauma centres would be established at the Mbagathi and Mama Lucy hospitals as Mutuini Hospital is also in line to be equipped with a modern theatre and two wards.
Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko yesterday appeared to endorse the move saying the low status of most of the city health facilities, which means they are ill-quiped to handle some cases, had put pressure on KNH leading to some of the recent mishaps.
“A hospital like Mbagathi is closing at six in the evening at a time when many people are struggling to access services. There will be no more cases of people admitting themselves or mothers taking their children to KNH for immunisation. Such functions should be carried out at the lower level facilities,” said Dr Kioko.