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Modern kit brings hope after years of suffering

 Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja (in bed) undergoes a scan from the new CT scan machine at Voi County Referral Hospital as a medic monitors the machine. [Renson Mnyamwezi, Standard]

For many years, Philistia Shali was forced to cross over to Tanzania from Voi County for a scan or radiography service, a long journey that drained the farmer’s meagre resources.

All this has now changed since a CT scan machine has been installed at the Voi County Referral Hospital.

“The machine has reduced time and travel costs because I will no longer travel outside the country for scan and radiography services. I will spend little time and resources for the services locally,” says Shali.

“It has been hell travelling outside but now I’m optimistic the agony of many patients like me will end.”

She is among the first patients to benefit from free trial services of the CT scan machine at the Voi hospital.

High quality images

The Sh100 million lifesaving machine has been funded by the national government’s Managed Equipment Service (MES) Project in collaboration with the Taita Taveta County government.

The machine has a capacity to produce 240 images in a day. It records images for over a week, which gives doctors a chance for further diagnosis without necessarily radiating a patient for a second time. The machine has 64 slides speed, which provides high quality images within a short time.

According to the Taita Taveta county government, the machine can serve up to 200 patients per day, which has drastically reduced the rising number of patients referred to other facilities outside the county.

The hospital’s senior radiographer, Fredrick Katimbo, said the government has trained several hospital staff as radiographers who will be operating the CT scan machine to ensure 24-hour services in the facility.

“The computed tomography (CT) scan has been in operation for just two weeks but has significantly enhanced diagnosis, with patients coming from far,” said Katimbo.

“This has reduced the number of referrals by more than half. Definitely this will enable better patient management,” he said ahead of the commissioning of the machine by Deputy President William Ruto tomorrow.

The hospital located along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway mostly serves accident victims from as far as Mtito Andei and Taru towns.

Governor Granton Samboja said the facility now attends to 20 patients per day, on average, since the machine was switched on.

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