thumb http://dakarlives.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/comments.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>He said the referral hospitals will be constructed across the country to fight diseases, a national challenge that was identified by the founding fathers at independence. The President said his administration will also support academic and training programs for medical staff to make Kenya a medical hub of choice.
“This will lead to a healthier and more productive nation, and is in line with our Vision 2030 flagship projects,” President Kenyatta said.
The President was speaking Friday when he opened the Chandaria Medical Centre at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Muthaiga in Nairobi. He was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Philanthropist Manu Chandaria, among others.
He said the Government is determined to increase the number of physical facilities, including mobile health clinic services, to ensure the provision of free primary healthcare for all Kenyans, starting with women, expectant mothers, breastfeeding mothers and persons with disabilities is achieved.
The President also disclosed that plans are underway to restructure the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to provide universal medical cover to Kenyans.
Citing the train-bus crash this week, President Kenyatta said new measures should be taken to improve road safety and prevent accidents. He said such accidents ‘make it important to have good and well-equipped hospitals’.
The President praised Dr. Chandaria for his charity work. He noted that the medical centre was constructed at a cost of Kshs 490 million which included Chandaria’s contribution of Kshs 100 million.
“These facilities have raised Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital into a medical hub nationally and regionally,” the President said.
He said the efforts help to boost Government’s endeavor to provide health to all Kenyans.
Health Cabinet Secretary Macharia said his ministry is working with county governments to identify gaps that lead to high maternal and child mortality rates so as to find ways to reduce them. He revisited the free maternity services in public hospitals, saying it has raised attendance from 44 to 65 per cent.
“The donation by the Chandaria Foundation is, therefore, in line with the national health objectives,” Mr. Macharia said.
“Before you became His Excellency the President, you were in the private sector and will always remain in the private sector,” he said.
Chandaria’s foundation funded the construction of the medical centre that the President opened today. He said his foundation will fund the building of various hospitals in Nairobi and at the Coast. He urged the private sector and individuals to do more in charity.
Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees Chairman, Mr. Alec Davis said the hospital, established in 1947, is the largest children’s hospital in East and Central Africa.
He said it serves 300,000 children annually and has 700 professionals, with nine clinics opened in various parts of Nairobi. The hospital has a training school that offers refresher courses in nursing, Mr. Davis added.