BOARD INAUGURATED

KU referral hospital to manage cancer care, says CS

Sicily says facility to decongest Kenyatta National Hospital once it becomes operational

In Summary

• The board has been tasked with ensuring the hospital becomes operational as soon as possible.

• CS Sicily Kariuki said the hospital once operational will play a key role in decongesting the Kenyatta National Hospital.

The Health CS Sicily Kariuki during the inauguration of KU hospital board at Afya House on April 8, 2019
The Health CS Sicily Kariuki during the inauguration of KU hospital board at Afya House on April 8, 2019
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

The Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral and Research Hospital will be soon made operational to decongest Kenyatta National Hospital.

Health CS Sicily Kariuki on Monday said the hospital will be a centre of excellence for cancer management.

"It is expected to provide quality cancer management services and reverse the current trends in medical tourism by Kenyans seeking health services abroad," Sicily said.

She spoke when she inaugurated the hospital's board at Afya House in Nairobi.

The CS said Kenya losses about Sh10 billion in revenue annually through overseas medical treatment.

Board chairperson Olive Mugenda promised to ensure the hospital becomes operational as soon as possible.

The Health CS Sicily Kariuki during the inauguration of KU hospital board at Afya House on April 8, 2019
The Health CS Sicily Kariuki during the inauguration of KU hospital board at Afya House on April 8, 2019
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

Mugenda was appointed to chair the board by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday.  In a gazette notice, Uhuru picked the former Kenyatta University vice chancellor to chair the board for three years. 

“We will sit down and see what needs to be done immediately to ensure the hospital is up and running. The hospital is already complete and fitted with some of the equipment,” Mugenda said.

The hospital has a 60-bed cancer unit, newborn unit and 28 ICU beds. Partners are are ready to move in and help make it operational, Mugenda said.

“The facility is an independent parastatal and as such the board will take full control without interference,” she said.

Health CS Sicily Kariuki and KU hospital board chairperson Olive Mugenda at Afya House on April 8, 2019
Health CS Sicily Kariuki and KU hospital board chairperson Olive Mugenda at Afya House on April 8, 2019
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

The government in February gazetted the hospital to officially make it a parastatal under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.

The board shall take full audit of the hospital and have a detailed hand over report of the facility and funds. 

The facility has been lying idle for two years after its completion due to a row on who should manage it. The university had insisted that it wanted to manage the facility.

Recently MPs asked the government to allocate Sh1.6 billion to Kenyatta University to start operations at the hospital.