• Pumwani has increased the number of deliveries from 11,169 to 19,267 in two years
• Mbagathi Hospital to be upgraded to a Level 5 health facility
More patients are seeking help from city hospitals since the county government intensified efforts to upgrade facilities and improve services.
Over the past two years, hospitals have recorded an influx of patients. Governor Mike Sonko’s administration had put in place measures to turn the sector around. It prioritised the top four hospitals — Pumwani, Mama Lucy, Mbagathi and Mutuini.
Health executive Mohamend Dagane on Friday said the latest figures released by the Health department have shown a significant increase in patients visiting Pumwani Maternity, Mama Lucy and Mbagathi hospitals.
“In Pumwani Maternity Hospital alone, ... the number of deliveries has nearly doubled — from 11,169 to 19,267 per year — an increment of 42 per cent . The facility was the first to be upgraded under Sonko’s administration,” he said.
“At Mbagathi Hospital, the number of patients recorded in the outpatient department has risen from 98,471 in June 2017 to 113,916, an increment of 14 per cent. We have a projection of 200,000 patients by the end of the year.”
At Mama Lucy Hospital, the number of patients has increased to 314,000 from 214,150 in 2017, marking a 32 per cent rise. Governor Sonko made an impromptu visit at Mama Lucy Hospital on Wednesday and directed that no patient be turned away despite the influx.
He said the influx was an indication the county is at the forefront in promoting quality health services in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda on which healthcare is a key pillar. Others are manufacturing, affordable housing and food security.
Dagane said a similar inflow of patients has been recorded in Level 2 and 3 facilities.“We’ve witnessed the same in Kayole I, Kayole II, Lunga Lunga health centre, Eastleigh health centre and Westlands health centre, among others.”
He said the county is ready to serve residents and even extend its services to those from neighbouring counties and beyond.
“We can’t turn away the patients even if they come from our neighbouring counties of Machakos, Kiambu, Kajiado and Murang’a,” he said.
For 2019-20, Nairobi has allocated Sh7.4 billion for health, translating into 21 per cent of the Sh35 billion budget. The department got the lion’s share. A huge proportion of the funds will be spent on upgrading hospitals and providing medicines and other supplies.
The county has renovated Pumwani Maternity Hospital and emphasis will now be laid on Mbagathi, Mutuini and Mama Lucy hospitals this financial year. Governor Sonko said they are committed to improving access to quality healthcare services to enable the sector to play its role in the realisation of Vision 2030.
“Healthcare remains one of our main agenda and that’s why we set aside a huge budget for this year,” he said.
The county plans to upgrade Mbagathi Hospital to Level 5. This means it will be able to serve more patients. It is undergoing a Sh150 million facelift. The maternity wing is being renovated and construction of a new outpatient unit is in progress. Its lab is also being equipped and an adult ICU section being built.
“With Sh150 million, it means we are going to renovate the old maternity wing and set up an intensive care unit,” Dagane said.
At Mama Lucy, Sh150 million will be used to complete the ongoing construction of a 70-bed block to increase admission capacity.
In support of the upgrade initiative, the county will hire 10 medical specialists, 18 medical officers, 105 nurses, and 40 clinical officers. Also targetted are 23 nutritionists and 15 medical lab technologists. Adequate staffing will boost services access for the benefit of residents.
(Edited by F'Orieny)