Moi Referral hospital nurses lok at one of the dialysis machines that were delivered on July 15, 2015./COURTESY
Every county to get dialysis machine, specialised staff
Every county will have at least one dialysis centre by the end of next month, the Ministry of Health says.
Currently, nearly all of the Level 5 hospitals have dialysis machines, but most of them lack specialised staff to operate the equipment.
Health PS Nicholas Muraguri said workers are being trained to provide the specialised services countrywide.
This will be a relief to thousands of Kenyans putting up with relatives around a few urban centres to access the life-saving dialysis.
The machines have been acquired through the managed equipment services project, a partnership of the national and county governments.
Dr Muraguri said that three years ago within the public sector, dialysis services were only available at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Nakuru Provincial General Hospital.
“Kenyans had to find their way to any of these three facilities to get service, yet no one should be forced to make a journey in order to access dialysis services,” he said.
Last week, 37 health workers graduated from the East African Kidney Institute to go and operate the new centres in Embu, Bomet, Garissa, Machakos and Nyamira counties.
The team comprised physicians, medical officers, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists and laboratory technologists.
Embu Governor Martin Wambora said the journey to Nairobi is exhausting and had impoverished many families in the county.
“No one will need to travel to Nairobi again for dialysis. The services will be cheaper here,” he said.
The county is also building Kenya’s second largest theatre and ICU facilities at the Embu Level Five Referral Hospital.
Dr Muraguri said the ongoing training will enrol staff from the remaining counties to make the dialysis centres operational.
The second batch of 38 trainees from Kericho, Kiambu, Kisumu, Kitui and Makueni counties started the training early this month.
“The whole idea of social transformation is to ensure that everyone is able to access specialised services because we are committed to social transformation – which can’t come without addressing health,” Muraguri said.
College of Health Sciences principal Isaac Kibwage said future groups of trainees will include participants from other East African countries.
An estimated 10,000 Kenyans are in need of renal dialysis services.