By Lenah Nafula
The new Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital will start admitting patients in December this year.
Phase One of the 750-bed capacity hospital constructed at a cost of sh6.5 billion is ready. Over 5,000 health professionals are expected to employed by the county to work at the referral facility once its completed in mid-next year.
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the county has already procured ultra-modern machines for diagnosing and treating different ailments.
Speaking during a joint workshop for the County Assembly and the Executive on Wednesday, Mr Oparanya said the move is geared towards rolling over the universal health care in the county.
Once Phase One is opened up, the Indian government will establish an ultra-modern eye hospital in the county to compliment the facility’s services.
“We are fully supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda on provision of universal health care to all. The commissioning of the referral hospital will help decongest the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital as patients from Western region will be treated in Kakamega,” he said.
He added: “We have signed an MoU with the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, India that will send specialists to treat cancer patients at the facility and for exchange programmes. They will also equip the facility with cancer diagnostic machines.”
Cancer cases in the county are on the rise and the hospital will specialize in the treatment of the terminal illness that is causing many deaths. Late diagnosis has seen the region lose skilled man power to the disease.
Besides cancer treatment, the facility will handle heart related diseases, kidney, diabetes among other ailments that are prevalent in Western region.
Oparanya added that he will also be commissioning two new level four hospitals in the county at Mumias and Shamakhubu in Shinyalu sub county in December. The facilities are being equipped.
“We have set aside another Sh200 million in the 2019/20 financial year for the renovation and upgrading of health centres across the county in a bid to bring services closer to wananchi,” said Oparanya.
He added: “Health centres will be handling all types of ailments like malaria and pneumonia in the rural areas and only emergency cases will be brought to the referral hospital. The health centres will also be handling maternity services as we are erecting theatres in all of them.”