•It will have 25 wards, laboratories, surgical theatres, high dependency units, consultation rooms and vehicle parking
•AfDB is also funding the East Africa Biomedical Engineering Institute in Rwanda, the East Africa Oncology Institute in Uganda and East Africa Heart Institute in Tanzania
Construction of the Sh3.6 billion kidney centre at Kenyatta National Hospital will begin shortly.
Health PS Susan Mochache said Sh200 million is available for initial construction.
"The tendering process has been concluded and is awaiting a no-objection from African Development Bank and work will commence immediately," Mochache said.
The project is jointly funded by the AfDB and the Kenyan government.
Mochache told MPs that so far, Sh396 million has been spent on preparation, including buying medical equipment and training. About 170 health workers have been trained in dialysis and 39 nurses in renal nursing.
"The project's aim is to enhance the EAC's competitiveness through a highly skilled workforce in the biological sciences," Mochache told the National Assembly Committee on Health last week.
The project will comprise a five-storey regional medical school and hospital for kidney-related ailments.
The kidney facility will be a plot to be hived off the KNH's football playground.
It will comprise 25 wards, laboratories, surgical theatres, high dependency units, consultation rooms and parking yards.
The facility is part of a network of centres of excellence in NCDs across East Africa.
"The project was designed and approved by AfDB as a multinational project covering the EAC states but with each country implementing a specific component," Mochache said.
AfDB is also funding the development of the East Africa Biomedical Engineering Institute in Rwanda, the East Africa Oncology Institute in Uganda and the East Africa Heart Institute in Tanzania.
Mochache said KNH's kidney centre will build Kenya's need to manage a kidney health crisis and promote medical tourism from the neighbouring countries.
According to the National Hospital Insurance Fund, dialysis is the single largest claim made to the fund.
In 2016, NHIF paid hospitals Sh839.9 million between July and December, up from Sh139.8 million in a similar period a year earlier — a five-fold increase.
NHIF data shows that four million Kenyans have some form of kidney ailment.
Only KNH, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Embu Teaching and Referral Hospitals perform kidney transplants.
(Edited by Eliud Kibii)