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Subsidized acquisition of drugs helps hospital offer affordable healthcare services

By Nanjinia Wamuswa | Published Thu, August 30th 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 29th 2018 at 22:23 GMT +3

Patients receive treatment during a medical camp organized jointly by Cosmos Limited and Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (Amurt) Health Care Centre located in Kangemi, Nairobi. [Photo: Standard]

At the waiting room, Loice Waweru sat quietly as she waited for her turn to see the doctor. The queue at Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (Amurt) Health Care Centre in Kangemi, Nairobi, is long.

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After a long wait, her turn comes and Loice rises up, walks slowly and enters the consultation room.

"I fell sick and was here last week on treatment but today I have come for check-up," begins Loice, a resident of Kinoo.

She reveals that Amurt is her hospital of choice since it offers medical services at an affordable cost. 

She explains: "Before a friend referred me to this facility, l would spend more than Sh3,000 on treatment in some of the private health facilities in my neighbourhood.”

A week ago when she came for treatment, Loice spent Sh500 on consultation, treatment and drugs.

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Like Loice, people who attend Amurt Health Care Centre laud its affordable services.

George Amara has been going to the facility for the last five years.

Pastor Amara from Lang'ata, who had brought his son for treatment said: "Compared to other hospitals in Ongata Rongai and Lang'ata where I live, this is better in terms of affordability. I always come here or refer a friend to this hospital."

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Why are services at Amurt such affordable?

According to Edward Kinyanjui, the medical officer in charge, the secret lies in a partnership between the facility and Cosmos Limited, a local pharmaceutical company.

Dr Kinyanjui explains that the cost of drugs determines the cost of treatment in health facilities. If the cost of drugs is high, the cost of treatment will equally be high and vice versa.

"Cosmos Limited supplies us with quality and efficacious drugs at highly subsidised prices. This helps us pass the low cost to consumers," he explains.

He says the partnership helps poor Kangemi residents to access medical services at a low cost.

And because of this, the facility is now attracting clients from most parts of Nairobi County, Kiambu and Ongata Rongai in Kajiado.

 He says: "Cosmos Limited is helping the facility achieve its mission of commitment to help improve the lives of the poor, accessing health care at lower cost. They have helped us promote community health for close to 15 years now,” Kinyanjui said.

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Moses Okumu whose father is suffering from hypertension says he comes to Amurt to get drugs because they are affordable and of good quality.

"My father's condition is chronic and he requires expensive drugs. But here, they treat and get drugs at affordable prices," says Okumu who lives in Lenana along Ngong Road.

Rolando Satzke, Cosmos Chief Executive Officer says their partnership with Amurt Health Care Centre has benefitted many people.

 He says many the patients with chronic diseases drop out of treatment due to the high cost of drugs.

 "We resolved to partner to reduce the cost of chronic diseases in the community and keep patients on the drugs," he explained.

Follow-ups

After treatment, the hospital does follow-ups for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancers to ensure patienst continue with drugs. The follow-ups are done by community health workers.

He reveals that consultation has been Sh100 for a long time, but because of other factors, the amount has been increased to Sh200.

"Still Sh200 consultation is cheaper compared to other facilities out there."

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Kinyanjui reveals in a day, they attend to at least 100 patients.

Vimal P Patel, Cosmos Managing Director says when they started operating in Kenya in 1984, one of their aims was to reduce the cost of healthcare.

 "The high cost of medical care is partly due to the high cost of drugs. By partnering and offering subsidised drugs, we reduce the cost of treatment," he says.

 


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