Uhuru: Why I commissioned hospitals in Nairobi at night

President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned five new hospitals in Nairobi on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. [Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he commissioned five hospitals in Nairobi at night on Tuesday, July 6 to avoid attracting huge crowds, and consequently creating a conducive environment for the spread of Covid-19.

The Head of State commissioned the following hospitals within the city: two level 2 hospitals; one at Gichagi in Kangemi and the other in Gatina, Kawangware; three-level 3 hospitals in Mukuru Kwa Rueben, Tassia Kwa Ndege and Our Lady of Nazareth in Mukuru Kwa Njenga.

The President was accompanied to the launch by NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi, several senior Government officials and journalists.

“We went [to the project sites] at night for two reasons; First, we wanted to ensure that we were observing Covid-19 protocols. It would have been impossible to do what we did today during the day because of the number of people who would have been out there,” he said, adding: “It would have been difficult for us to do the job we wanted to do and at the same time observe Covid-19 protocols that we have put in place as a government.”

Kenyatta said the hospitals will be operating 24 hours a day to help attend to emergency medical cases that arise at night, “when most public hospitals have closed”.

He said the night launch of the five hospitals bore a lot of significance to the exact purpose the facilities were created.

“It is important that these hospitals operate on a 24-hour basis. For this reason, we also wanted to see whether it was possible both from an accessibility and staffing point of view,” he said.

The President also said the night tour gave him the opportunity to inspect the road network in the informal settlements.

“The other thing we wanted to see was the roads. We embarked on a programme where we are doing 400 kilometres of roads in our inner cities. We have been able to travel in those informal settlements without challenges,” he said.

Kenyatta said 19 out of 24 hospitals being built by the NMS were complete, stating plans were underway to sufficiently resource for 24-hour service delivery.