•More than 4,300 kidney patients are on dialysis treatment in 151 health centres
•Regional centre of excellence to be set up
More than 4,300 kidney patients are on dialysis treatment in 151 health centres in the country, Health CS Sicily Kariuki has said.
Kariuki said the government is working with counties to ensure modern renal services are brought closer to the people.
The CS identified shortage of qualified personnel to handle kidney ailments as one of the major challenges of the ministry.
For a long time the country has had only 23 nephrologists supported by 350 nurses in caring for 48 million Kenyans.
To address the human resource gap, she said, the government has established the East Africa Kidney Institute as a centre of excellence for kidney disease treatment.
The institute will train 170 supportive healthcare workers every three months, 20 nurses in higher diploma in renal nursing, 12 nephrologists annually and five urologists annually.
She spoke yesterday in Eldoret as she launched the Kidney and Liver Transplant Centre at Mediheal Hospital to commemorate this year’s world kidney day.
The management of kidney failure is one of the most expensive processes in healthcare. It overburdens patients.
Kariuki said 466 patients have undergone kidney transplants at Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) and private hospitals in Nairobi since 2006.
Through the Managed Equipment Services (MES) programme, the national government is taking modern specialised medical equipment to county hospitals.
The CS said that in 2015 the government spent Sh38 billion on the MES programme. Two hospitals in Uasin Gishu - at Ziwa and Burnt Forest - got the equipment.
HUMAN RESOURCE GAP
Kariuki was accompanied by Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo-Marakwet governors Jackson Mandago and Alex Tolgos respectively.
The CS said there has been an upsurge of non-communicable diseases with 50 per cent of hospital admissions being non-communicable conditions. The NCD cause 30 per cent of the deaths.
MP for Kesses Swarup Mishra, who is the proprietor of Mediheal Hospital, said 22 kidney transplants have been done successfully at the hospital.
Tolgos said counties had a shortage of staff to support the national government's plan for universal healthcare. They lacked funds to employ requisite manpower.
He appealed for additional financial support to counties.