By RUSHDIE OUDIA and MANGOA MOSOTA
Kisumu, Kenya: Residents of Kisumu County are set to benefit from a Sh200 million ultramodern referral hospital that will be completed in the next one year.
The facility will be built at Seme, about 20 kilometres from Kisumu town, and is being funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The hospital would reduce pressure on the Nyanza Provincial Hospital once it is operational.
Yesterday, UAE Deputy Ambassador to Kenya Hassan Issa said the project would be implemented through Daawah, an Islamic development group in the country.
When completed, it will be the second referral facility in Kisumu, after Nyanza Provincial Hospital.
During the ground-breaking ceremony of the five-storey facility at Holo yesterday, Issa said this was one of UAE’s major projects in the country.
The envoy said Kenya enjoys a cordial relationship with the UAE and they would continue to support various development projects.
He added that his country through Dar Al Ber, a development arm of UAE, would also launch a water project at the facility in form of a borehole.
Dar Al Ber director Mohammed Ahmed said the facility would have diagnostic equipment and a maternity wing. He said with time, they would invest in different projects in the country.
Daawah chairman in Kisumu Abdul Omar said they have since received Sh70 million as part of the funds to construct the hospital. “If this project is completed we shall have a second one to address various complicated diseases,” said Mr Omar.
Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma said his government would support the project pointing out the county government would launch Wadagi program aimed at reducing premature deaths.
Mr Ranguma said children below the age of five were losing their lives as a result of diseases like malaria and pneumonia which he said can be easily managed.
Ranguma also said the yet to be launched Wadagi programme would empower community health workers to ensure healthcare to the public was at its best.
And Seme MP James Nyikal said he would give the necessary support to the initiative.
This health investment comes even as the counties reduce funding for health in their current budgets. There has been struggle between the national and devolved government on control of the health budgets.