President Uhuru Kenyatta officially opened the Level Six Mama Margaret Kenyatta Children Hospital to cater for specialised paediatric needs.
The hospital, whose construction began in 1997, was among the five Nyayo projects by the former president the late Daniel Arap Moi.
Nyayo Wards projects were to be constructed to provide affordable and accessible healthcare to Kenyans.
Construction of the hospital stalled several times until the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) took over and completed it.
‘‘During the time when Covid-19 was high, we would walk with NMS director general Mohamed Badi sometimes in the night and came across a building that had stalled,” said President Uhuru.
‘‘This hospital will be a referral hospital for small ones within Eastlands and it adds to 19 hospitals, which have been built with five remaining under NMS. It will have 350 beds once fully complete,” he added.
Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the hospital will be fully operational within one month.
“I thank president Uhuru and his leadership for their support to us to complete the construction of the hospital,’’ said Lieutenant General Mohamed Badi, noting that the hospital is unique, being a Nyayo project that had stalled.
The hospital will be under Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), which will provide doctors to serve patients.
KNH Chief Executive Dr. Evanson Kamuri said the construction of such hospitals in various parts of the city has reduced caseloads to the main referral facility.
‘‘We are also happy to note that there are patients who had been been admitted at KNH but when they heard that this hospital is being opened, they requested to be transferred here because its nearer and this means a direct impact to the citizens of this country,” said President Uhuru.
Dr Kamuri of KNH said the hospital will be a game changer since it is the first specialised public hospital for children in the county, and country.
‘‘The hospital will offer all kinds of children’s medical services including an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and for children born prematurely,” he said.
“It will be operational 24/7 and also sort out emergency cases for adult people and also offer maternity services,” he added.
President Uhuru said the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) had indicated that since last year, there have been more patients attended to by public facilities than private hospitals.
‘‘This means that our efforts to improve infrastructure of our public hospitals are bearing fruits,” he said.
CS Kagwe said the naming of the hospital after the First Lady was in appreciation of her work in healthcare, including the Linda Mama and Beyond Zero projects.
The hospital is situated in Kariobangi, Embakasi North Constituency.
Nairobi County Governor Anne Kananu said the hospital will benefit many residents of Eastlands and promised to work with the NMS to ensure roads and sewer system around the hospital are developed.