Machakos Hospital is the first hospital to be upgraded as part of the Kenyan Government’s Healthcare Modernisation Programme.
With the winter sun reflecting off its freshly painted blue and white exterior, the newly upgraded Machakos Hospital is a source of pride for the community. Machakos has recently upgraded to an Ultra-Modern Level 5 referral facility, bringing advanced health services to the county.
Machakos Hospital is the first hospital to be upgraded as part of the Kenyan Government’s Healthcare Modernisation Programme. As the key technology partner, GE is responsible for the wide-scale radiology infrastructure modernisation component, aimed at transforming 98 hospitals across Kenya’s 47 counties. Radiology is a key component in the detection and treatment of diseases like cancer.
Cancer currently ranks as the third highest cause of death in Kenya, after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. It is responsible for seven per cent of total national mortality every year, which equals approximately 22,000 deaths. For the thousands of cancer patients who previously had to travel 63 kilometres to Nairobi for treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital, the upgraded services bring immense relief. From now on, they will be able to receive cancer treatments closer to home, making treating convenient and, therefore, more possible for a larger portion of the population.
Determined to fight the war on cancer, the Kenyan government is committed to improving cancer treatment services. Currently, according to the regional cancer register The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), approximately 80 per cent of reported cases of cancer are diagnosed at advanced stages, when very little can be achieved in terms of curative treatments, yet 30 per cent of treatable cancers can be cured if detected early. With improved radiology services now available at the Machakos Hospital, doctors now have the technologies available to screen for cancer earlier than before and reduce the need to refer patients to the national hospital in Nairobi, which until now was the nearest place for treatment.
With a state-of-the-art radiology department in place at the hospital, equipped with technology like the computer numerical control machine for breast screening, cancer related services are now provided locally.
“A sustainable healthcare transformation requires a system-wide approach that combines technology, capability building, service, maintenance and long-term financing,” said Farid Fezoua, President & CEO for GE Healthcare Africa. “This is the kind of transformation that is happening at Machakos.”
With the hospital fully operational, the county government is now in the process of employing an additional 300 health workers, among them consultants, radiologists and lab technicians, which will help ensure that the hospital is able to deliver the best healthcare services available. Further, GE’s training programme will ensure that all new and current healthcare providers are fully trained on operating and maintaining the equipment, ensuring services are not interrupted.
Overall, the healthcare landscape in Kenya is rapidly evolving with many programmes in place. GE is involved in many of these initiatives, including the Hewa Tele medical grade oxygen manufacturing plant and the tailored financing programme for the SME Health sector.
With the Machakos hospital back in action, the GE Healthcare team will be working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, local project management partners and Project Partners, including the relevant county healthcare administrators and recipient hospitals, to ensure the rapid and successful implementation of other hospital upgrades within the programme. These efforts will help ensure the delivery of sustainable healthcare services for all, as outlined in the Kenyan Government’s 2030 Vision.
“We are extremely proud to play a role in bringing better, more sustainable healthcare services to the Machakos community,” said Fezoua.
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