•Governor Nyong’o says upgrade is to ensure a healthy population living in a clean environment
•Hospital has redesigned and renovated the emergency and trauma centre and constructed doctors' suites.
The Kisumu county government has spent Sh130 million to upgrade Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) in the last financial year.
Governor Anyang Nyong’o said the upgrade is to ensure a healthy population living in a clean environment.
The hospital has redesigned and renovated the emergency and trauma centre and constructed doctors' suites.
He said they have renovated wards 1 and 2 and constructed a maternity theatre with 31 bed capacity.
“In order to aid timely diagnosis and early detection of diseases and as part of this modernization program, we have acquired enhanced diagnostic equipment and an ISO certified laboratory,” he said.
The county has also installed a 64 slides CT scan machine to supplement the old 10 slides CT scan machine, giving the hospital a total installed capacity of 74 CT scans per day.
The county boss said his government has prioritized the construction of Kisumu Radiotherapy Centre at JOOTRH.
“We are set to commence construction of the first phase of this project at a cost of Sh350 million with completion expected at the end of two years,” Nyong’o said.
Already, the government has set aside Sh60 million to begin construction of the bunkers and a donor has come forth with Sh40 million.
Upon completion, the facility is expected to offer comprehensive oncology services covering radiotherapy, chemotherapy and palliative care to cancer patients across the region.
Nyong’o noted that cancer remains one of the biggest healthcare management challenges in Kenya.
It is now the third leading cause of deaths accounting for seven per cent of annual deaths from non-communicable diseases, translating to about 28,000 deaths per year.
Despite 60 per cent of cancer patients requiring radiotherapy, the service is only available at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Additionally, the county has established a sickle cell clinic at the facility in collaboration with Dr Charles Otieno of the University of California, Los Angeles and the Acres of Hope.
“It is now possible to diagnose a sickle cell carrier within the first week of birth and provide effective treatment,” Nyong’o said.
Kisumu is among the four pilot counties alongside Nyeri, Machakos and Isiolo for the national Universal Health Coverage project.
Nyong’o said he has committed Sh63 million for recruitment of additional 179 health care workers to mitigate the human resource needs.
They include Community Health Extension Workers, Radiographers, Medical Laboratory Technologists, Pharmaceutical Technologists, Registered Nurses, Clinical Officers, and Nutritionists.
The county has also strengthened the referral system based on the “hub and spoke” model. “We have embarked on improving our health institutions from the primary level to the referral facility,” Nyong’o disclosed.
In the last financial year, the county has installed and operationalized maternity theaters at Kombewa, Ahero and Muhoroni Sub County Hospitals.
A total of Sh 30 million has also been allocated in the 2019/2020 budget to build maternity theaters in the remaining sub-county hospitals of Nyakach, Gita and Chulaimbo.
“We have also committed to acquiring 5 digital X-Ray machines for the sub-county hospitals at a cost of Sh 7 million,” Nyong’o said.
He said has established a well-managed “Kisumu county Ambulatory and Emergency Services” to ensure easy movement of patients in dire need of emergency health services.
“We budgeted to purchase eight modern ambulances with all the necessary life-saving equipment at a cost of Sh 80 million,” he added.
The fleet will be technologically managed to offer services as and when required and will be deployed to cover all the seven sub-counties.
So far, we have deployed one to Gita hospital to serve Kisumu East Sub County.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) also donated two extra ambulances to be stationed at Pap Onditi Sub County Hospital and Nyabondo Mission Hospital.
KeNHA is also constructing a Trauma Centre at Nyabondo Mission Hospital.
Nyong’o said Kisumu in partner with Novartis is also building ultra-modern pediatric research center at Kombewa Hospital which is expected to be operational by mid-2020.