STAFF TRAININGS

National Spinal Injury Hospital to get facelift

Spinal cord injuries are very devastating, fatal they are life changing.

In Summary

• Built in 1944, the facility started as a private institution to take care of World War II soldiers who had spinal injuries.

• Currently, the facility is a specialist hospital within the national government with a mandate of providing care to people with spinal disorders.

Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman, the National Spinal Injury Hospital superintendent Soren Otieno and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation CEO Mohamud Ahmed Mohamud during the commissioning of the KDIC-funded medical equipment at the facility on November 23, 2021
Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman, the National Spinal Injury Hospital superintendent Soren Otieno and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation CEO Mohamud Ahmed Mohamud during the commissioning of the KDIC-funded medical equipment at the facility on November 23, 2021
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

The National Spinal Injury Hospital might soon get a facelift should current plans by the government materialise.

Health CAS Rashid Aman has disclosed that the government intends to have the facility grow further to become a Centre of Excellence in Africa with the support of partners, well-wishers and other stakeholders.

Among priority areas will be ensuring its expansion in terms of space, with discussions underway mulling on whether to develop it into a high rise facility or find an alternative expansive location.

The CAS also disclosed that the ministry will work towards creating the right enabling environment for staff at the facility to perform their best as well as facilitate the provision of assisted devices and technology to the clients of the institution.

“Because of the restriction of space, we are seriously considering the future location of a facility like this, we have two options we are considering,” Aman said.

 “One is to remain on-site here and go upwards the other is to try and explore and see whether we can get more expansive space to develop and build a Centre of excellence than where we are,” he added.

Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman, the National Spinal Injury Hospital superintendent Soren Otieno and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation CEO Mohamud Ahmed Mohamud during the commissioning of the KDIC-funded medical equipment at the facility on November 23, 2021
Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman, the National Spinal Injury Hospital superintendent Soren Otieno and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation CEO Mohamud Ahmed Mohamud during the commissioning of the KDIC-funded medical equipment at the facility on November 23, 2021
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

Built in 1944, the facility started as a private institution to take care of World War II soldiers who had spinal injuries.

Currently, the facility is a specialist hospital within the national government with a mandate of providing care to people with spinal disorders.

It is the only hospital in the region offering spinal rehabilitation services to people with spinal cord injuries and it has a capacity of around 35 beds.

The plan also intends to ensure the staff is supported with the appropriate infrastructure and equipment while patients are facilitated with the appropriate devices and technology.

On the other hand, the staff will have to undergo appropriate continuous training to improve on the quality of service delivery, even as the government looks at the staffing levels with a view to increasing the numbers.

According to the CAS, spinal cord injuries are very devastating, fatal they are life-changing.

“The concerned individuals are affected physically and mentally and find themselves with functional challenges that affect the various aspects of their lives,” he said.

“Care for persons living with spinal cord injuries is very expensive both in the healthcare settings, rehabilitation centres and in the community. It, therefore, impacts not only the person injured but also the family and the community at large,” he added.

Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman and the National Spinal Injury Hospital superintendent Soren Otieno during the commissioning of the KDIC-funded medical equipment at the facility on November 23, 2021
Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman and the National Spinal Injury Hospital superintendent Soren Otieno during the commissioning of the KDIC-funded medical equipment at the facility on November 23, 2021
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

However, a person living with a spinal cord injury after undergoing rehabilitation is able to reintegrate into the community and live a fulfilling life, for some with significant independence.

Depression, anxiety and stress are among the mental health challenges experienced by persons living with Spinal Cord Injuries.

A study published in 2019 reported a prevalence rate of 69 per cent among persons living with spinal cord injuries of mental health issues.

The CAS spoke on Tuesday during the commissioning of the KDIC-funded medical equipment at the facility.

Also present was the hospital’s superintendent Soren Otieno and Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation CEO Mohamud Ahmed Mohamud.

The hospital offers curative spinal services such as the spine, plastic and general surgeries, rehabilitative services which include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychosocial therapy and orthopaedics.

It also provides promotive and preventive spine care such as chronic pain management, health education on spine care to general and former patients.

Edited by D Tarus