Ministry hands over Gatundu Level Four Hospital to Kiambu County Government


KIAMBU, Kenya, Apr 9 – The ultra modern Gatundu Level Four hospital has finally been handed over to the Kiambu County Government, after a nine year period of planning and implementing.

The complex which was conceived in 2007 will see at least 500,000 Kenyans access medical services at affordable rates, beginning next week, as both levels of government continue working towards the provision of universal health coverage.

Speaking during the handing over ceremony on Thursday, Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleopa Mailu said that the County leadership had done a great job but it was important to foster smooth working relationships with health workers so as to deliver services.

“Health workers are like babies. If they trust you, they will have no problems with you. But if they don’t they will keep crying. They will not be able to perform with divided attention,” he explained ahead of the hospital’s commissioning on Wednesday.

Health Principal Secretary Dr. Nicholas Muraguri challenged the County leadership to maintain the standards that had been set adding that the gains of devolution were beginning to pay off.

“Perhaps this is the most beautiful facility I have ever seen. You know they say that one way of differentiating a public hospital from a private hospital is through the smell and I didn’t get any smell here. I am very impressed,” he said.

Others in attendance were Kiambu Deputy Governor Gerald Gakuha, Health County Executive Dr. Jonah Mwangi, Kiambu Chief Officer for Health Dr. Stephen Njuguna, County Director for Medical Services Dr. Andrew Toro and outgoing hospital Board Chairman Mr. Paul Marima.

The hospital’s maternity wing has 25 beds, a theatre and a newborn unit. The facility also has 12 Intensive Care Unit beds, two additional theatres, 50-bed surgical wards to serve both men and women, a water purification system and solar panels for water heating.

Dr. Mwangi said that the County wanted to partner with the National Government to fastrack other projects.

He also asked the Ministry not to post health workers, who had been trained by the County, to other stations.

“We want to make Kiambu County a Centre of medical tourism and as it is, 20 facilities refer their patients to us. This will help to decongest the Kenyatta National Hospital,” he explained.

Each week, seven patients who are unable to clear their hospital bills are released.

The hospital’s maternity services have also improved. In January this year, the hospital recorded 258 deliveries and three neonatal deaths while in March, the hospital recorded 270 births and seven neonatal deaths.

“The neonatal deaths are largely because of the high premature baby rates that we are witnessing but we are working on it,” said Keziah Ruraya, who is in charge of the newborn unit.

The Gatundu Level Four hospital was started in 1966 to serve a population of 50,000. The demand has grown to about 500,000 patients per year. This number includes the immediate Gatundu population as well as those who come in from other areas.

The Kiambu County government sets aside Ksh3.5 billion of its annual budget for health services.