By Beth Nyaga
Forest Japan Diagnostic Centre, a diagnostic medical facility, run by a world-class Japanese hospital, launched its services in Kenya on Monday.
The centre, the first of its kind to be opened by a Japanese hospital in sub-Saharan Africa, will provide medical services to Kenyans from all walks of life.
Speaking at the opening ceremony held in Nairobi, Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Tatsushi Terada said Japan has already extended some Ksh. 2.9 billion to Kenya to boost the provision of universal health services in the country.
Mr. Terada added that Nairobi will be the venue for the upcoming TICAD VI (Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development) in August this year.
“Through these and other interventions, Japan’s commitment to universal health coverage will be further accelerated,” he added.
Located in the capital Nairobi, the facility now runs a fully operational diagnostic centre at Fortis Suites along Hospital road, Upper Hill Nairobi with services ranging from radiology (CT, Digital X-Ray, and Ultrasound) and Laboratory Services at the first phase.
Representing the Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Cleopa Mailu, Dr. Charles Okello, Chief Radiologist at the Ministry of Health, welcomed the opening of the new facility in Kenya, emphasizing the important role that the private sector plays in supplementing government’s efforts towards attainment of universal access to health services for all.
“The SDGS (Sustainable Development Goals) have got 17 goals, which are difficult to achieve without help from the private sector,” he said.
Dr. Mitsuo Takei, Founder and Chief Executive of Grand Forest Japan Hospital, which runs the Nairobi centre, said the Japanese medical institution intends to set up a fully pledged hospital in Kenya in the coming years.
Kenneth Otieno, the centre’s project coordinator, said plans are underway to make their services affordable to all Kenyans. Currently, the prices are benchmarked with those of Kenyatta National Hospital, the country’s largest referral hospital.
Grand Forest diagnostic centre will be offering a CT-scan for Ksh. 7, 400. It aims at serving 10-15 patients a day.
Among those present, included JICA Kenya Chief Representative Ms. Keiko Sano, medical practitioners and other dignitaries.
The Forest Japan diagnostic centre in Nairobi was established under a direct foreign investment from Grand Forest Japan Hospital based in Oita Prefecture, Japan.