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Uhuru: Building of 24 city slum hospitals by NMS to be done by end of January

Residents of Nairobi’s slums will, from January, start enjoying better health services with completion of the construction and rehabilitation of 24 new hospitals by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the new 24 level 2 and 3 hospitals in informal settlements in the capital will be complete by the end of next month.

In his Jamhuri Day speech on Saturday, President Kenyatta said the Sh2 billion project will see the bed capacity increase by 280.

“The idea is to take health services as close to the people as is possible,” he said.

“Embarrassment”

The Head of State decried poor health services in slums, more than 50 years after independence and seven years into devolution.

He recounted how during an inspection visit to Mukuru kwa Reuben, he witnessed suffering, with 500,000 people dependent on a private health facility with only eight maternity beds.

“To resolve this embarrassment, I instructed the NMS to build 24 level two and three hospitals in informal settlements. I note with satisfaction that NMS is on course to deliver the facilities by end of January,” he said.

In August, President Kenyatta commissioned construction of three 16-bed level 3 hospitals in Muthua in Uthiru and Kianda in Kibra as well as a 24-bed facility at Maendeleo Village in Mukuru kwa Reuben.

The three hospitals are among 19 earmarked for various parts of the city at an average cost of Sh70 million each.

Ten of the facilities to be built are level two hospitals while the rest are in the level three category.

Big promise

NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi promised in July that all health facilities would be completed in 100 days.

The plan included rehabilitation of five other health facilities across the capital at a cost of Sh300 million.

In October, NMS Health Services Director, Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae, said the construction was already at an advanced stage.

At the time, only 16 sites had been identified and handed over to the contractor, with only three sites in Mathare, Lucky Summer and Sinai in Viwandani yet to be identified.

Level 2 health facilities are dispensaries run by clinical officers, which offer outpatient services including voluntary counselling and testing, pharmacy, laboratory and well-baby clinics.

Level 3 facilities (health centers) are small hospitals run by at least one doctor, clinical officers and nurses offering services such as in-patient care, laboratory, dental, counseling, and pharmacy.