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Kiambu to up hospital bed capacity to 3,208

 Near-empty pharmacy shelves at Kihara Level Four Hospital in the populous Kiambu County. [George Njunge, Standard]

Kiambu County government is planning to increase its hospital bed capacity to 3,208, from the current 1,608 beds before the end of the year, once six new health facilities are completed. 

The hospitals' projects that had stalled, were revived by governor Kimani Wamatangi. The projects were allocated about Sh1.7 billion by the previous administration before stalling with work done between 45 and 70 per cent.

Some of the revived projects are in Bibirioni, Thogoto, Githunguri and Tigoni. Once completed, the health facilities will address the current congestion, especially with the growing number of patients from neighbouring Nairobi, Machakos, Murang'a, and Nakuru counties.

Governor Wamatangi, while on tour at Bibirioni Hospital in Limuru sub-county, assured locals that works have already resumed in the stalled facilities.

"The intention is to have a capacity that can handle the demand of patients. We are also building 13 new dispensaries that will have a 16-bed maternity ward, a mini laboratory and a theatre and renovating the existing ones because we want to ensure our people have access to quality healthcare at the nearest distance possible," Wamatangi said.

Bibirioni Hospital has been designed to serve over 100,000 people from Limuru Sub-county and its environment. The contractor, Gokul Builders, had abandoned the site over non-payment for the work done."We are happy and hopeful that after five years of delay, we will finally have the facility up and running again," said area MCA Christopher Ireri.

Grazing field

Tigoni Hospital, which was estimated to cost Sh160 million stalled after the contractor differed with the county over payments. Another project which has turned into a livestock grazing field is the 150-bed Thogoto Hospital in Kikuyu, launched seven years ago.

The county has tendered for completion of the project after a supplementary budget that allowed the executive to spend Sh1.2 billion more on development was passed.

Lari Hospital in Rukuma has a 200-bed capacity and was allocated Sh192 million. More than Sh800 million was allocated for the construction of Githunguri Hospital, which has stalled since 2018.

In Ruiru, there is an incomplete building that will host health technologies. "The contractors are already back on sites after the governor paid their dues and we look forward to having some of the facilities up and running," said Health CEC Elias Maina.

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