Kiambu County Government has set up a renal unit at Thika Level Five Hospital, saving hundreds of patients the painful journey to Nairobi if they require treatment.
The five-bed renal unit will accommodate patients suffering from kidney diseases.
Andrew Toro, the Thika Level Five Hospital superintendent, said the unit would help decogest Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, the nearest public health facility offering kidney dialysis. Dr Toro said about 500 patients have undergone kidney dialysis at the hospital since the renal unit was opened last month.
Some of these patients come from the neighbouring Murang’a, Machakos, Nairobi and Kirinyaga counties.
Plans are underway to increase the capacity of the unit to 10, said Toro.
“The dialysis is free for all people with National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cards. This includes drugs and laboratory services. The demand for dialysis has been rising and we intend to increase the capacity of the renal unit to 10 and hire more staff so that we can serve more kidney patients,” he said.
Patients with no NHIF covers pay Sh6,000 for the two dialysis sessions per week.
James Kariuki, a kidney patient from Thika, commended the county government for setting up up the renal unit.
Kariuki said the unit has helped him and many other patients suffering from kidney ailments as they no longer have to visit KNH for treatment.
“I had to go all the way to KNH for my dialysis twice every week. This was taking a toll on me. The cost was also high since I had to pay Sh6,000 per session,” he said.