The country has attained a major milestone in the provision of quality healthcare services with the opening of a fully equipped Renal Health Unit in Kapenguria, West Pokot Thursday.
The commissioning of the West Pokot Renal Unit, featuring modern haemodialysis equipment, formally completes the countrywide equipping of public hospitals at all 47 counties; under the Ministry of Health (MoH) Managed Equipment Services (MES) programme.
Under the MES Haemodialysis rollout project launched in 2015 in conjunction with County Governments, 54 hospitals have been fully equipped with modern dialysis equipment. The Renal Units in all counties are providing lifesaving dialysis and related services for patients suffering from End Stage Renal Disease.
Cumulatively, the facilities are now handling an average of 76,000 dialysis sessions annually up from 964 sessions recorded four years ago at Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Nakuru Provincial General Hospital, Coast Provincial General Hospital and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospitals which were the only public dialysis facilities then.
Speaking, during a commissioning ceremony for the first West Pokot Renal Unit at the Kapenguria Referral Hospital, West Pokot County Governor John Lonyangapuo, described the project as a devolution milestone.
The West Pokot County Government, he added will mobilise resources to develop a number of other Renal Units in the County as failure to access dialysis services can be fatal for ESRD patients.
“At West Pokot County, the opening of this Renal Unit is an early Christmas gift as it places our health services delivery capacity almost at par with larger facilities in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Eldoret,” Lonyangapuo said, adding that, “This is a devolution and historical milestone that helps to upscale renal health services at grass root levels by helping to bring quality dialysis services to West Pokot. We plan to expand access for this services in this county in coming months.”
Previously, End Stage Renal Disease patients in West Pokot who require weekly dialysis sessions were having to make expensive trips to Eldoret and Nakuru; more than 300kms (150 Kms one way) away.
At the national level, the MES programme Haemodialysis contractor has managed to undertake the necessary deployments in the 54 Renal Units currently in operation. The works, included facility fit outs, Original manufacturer equipment delivery and installation, back-up service, repair and maintenance.
The contractors have also provided training to more than 100 Bio-Medical Engineers and technicians, 400 renal nurses and capacity building for other health system workers.