The construction of a Sh45 billion state-of-the-art Kabarak University Referral Mission Hospital is expected to be a game-changer in cancer treatment in the region.
Kabarak University Wednesday launched construction of the teaching, research and referral hospital in an elaborate groundbreaking ceremony at Kabarak Grounds.
In a speech read on his behalf by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, Kabarak University founder and Chancellor, former President Daniel arap Moi said the facility would offer world-class medical care to all Kenyans.
The referral hospital, which is expected to start operations in 2020, is set to revolutionise health services in the country and reduce cases of Kenyans seeking healthcare abroad.
The 500-bed facility will be constructed on a 100-acre parcel in Kabarak and will include a 250-bed branch in Nairobi.
Moi said the facility would work together with 23 mission hospitals in the country in efforts aimed at providing quality health services to all Kenyans.
"The hospitals will be working with 23 other mission hospitals in the country. They will be working together on referrals of patients who require more attendance. It will help save lives," he said.
The former president said there was need to provide good quality medical services and opportunities for youngsters with the desire and passion to work in the medicine industry.
"We are looking to ensure that services are provided in the best quality and the most affordable prices. Medicine students who have passion and desire to work as practitioners are also provided with an opportunity to get the best training that can be acquired in the country," said Moi.
Inside the facility will be a modern cancer treatment centre, centre for disease control, critical care, renal and kidney section, obstetrics and gynaecology section, paediatric area, biomedical research centre, outpatient services, cardiac and heart centres.
To obtain the best medical facilities, the referral hospital will partner with General Electric (GE), who will equip the facility with modern equipment.
GE Healthcare Regional Project Development Director Alexander Oketch said modern medical machines that will be installed at the centre will offer advanced types of care and be capable of diagnosing and treating the most complicated medical cases.
"Kabarak University Teaching, Research, and Referral Mission Hospital is a world-class facility that will handle infectious diseases, both communicable and non-communicable diseases, emerging and re-emerging diseases," said Oketch.
The facility's cancer centre is equipped to help reduce rising cases of patients travelling abroad in search of treatment by providing the best diagnostic and treatment facilities.
The centre, according to Oketch, will employ qualified surgeons and support postgraduate programmes in medicine, pharmacy and nursing.
The project will be financed by US-based Private Equity Sygec International, among others.
In a speech read by Health CS Cleopa Mailu, President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was scheduled to open the facility, said the Government would fully support the project.
Uhuru said the Government had partnered with other countries to improve the provision of health care. He said once complete, the hospital would provide a solution to increased cases of lifestyle diseases in Kenya.
The President added that the mission hospital would provide affordable services to people in rural areas.
"Medical research at the newly launched facility would provide health care services especially for people from the rural areas at affordable prices," said Uhuru.
Kabarak University Vice-Chancellor Henry Kiplagat said the facility would offer quality research for the institution's medical students and those from other learning institutions in the country and East Africa.
Dr Kiplagat said many medical students in the country were facing challenges in conducting research because of lack of modern facilities.
The VC commended mission hospitals in the country for offering affordable medical services.
Kabarak University has entered an MOU with mission hospitals affiliated to the Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK).
CHAK General Secretary Dr Samuel Mwenda said mission hospitals were dedicated to quality health care.
Among the guests were Raymond Moi (MP Rongai) and nominated Senator Zipporah Kittony.