Kenya now has 74 dialysis machines in public hospitals, each county has at least five.
This is a major increase from less than 20 machines across the country before Health was devolved, the Ministry of Health says.
The machines were bought through the Managed Equipment Services, a project financed by the county governments but managed by the ministry.
Each county pays Sh90 million annually for a period of over seven years for the purchase of medical equipment under MES.
Health Cabinet Secretary Dr Cleopa Mailu said when fully operational, all the dialysis machines will have a capacity of 490 dialysis sessions per day, in addition to the services provided in private hospitals.
Mailu was speaking during the official opening of the 14th Annual Scientific Conference of the Kenya Renal Association and the launch of nephrology programme in Mombasa on Friday.
The CS says four million Kenyans have chronic kidney disease with a significant proportion of this population progressing to kidney failure.
“Out of these, about 10,000 people have end stage renal disease and require dialysis, yet only 10 per cent of those who need dialysis are able to access the services,” he said.
The CS remarks were read by the head of preventive and promotive health, Dr David Soti.
He said the state is aware of the dire need to improve all aspects of nephrology services alongside other allied disciplines such as urology, anesthesia and nutrition.
“We have taken steps to bridge the gap and fight the kidney diseases and its negative effects on health and the economy,” said Dr. Mailu.
The CS said the ministry is aware of the shortage of health workers trained to provide dialysis services.
“In this regard, I want to commend all the training institutions for collaborating to launch additional courses in nephrology, urology and allied disciplines,” he said.
Mailu said advanced courses in medicine and surgery such as urology, fellowship in nephrology and higher diploma in renal nursing are now available at the University of Nairobi. KNH is the principle clinical teaching facility.
The conference, whose theme was “Toward excellence in renal care and education in developing countries” was the first joint conference of the East Africa Centres’ of Excellence, bringing together renal experts.