The Kiambu County Government has initiated health projects worth over Sh1.5 billion shillings, which, according to Governor Kimani Wamatangi, will see the county double its bed capacity from the current 1 608.
Mr Wamatangi has started building 13 new level three hospitals in various county wards at a total cost of Sh650 million, where each facility will cost Sh50 million, as part of the regional government’s initiatives to promote access to healthcare and improve service delivery.
While ground-breaking the construction of Kiamumbi Level Three Hospital in Kiambu Township Sub-County on Wednesday to mark the beginning of the 13 new facilities, the county chief said they will be completed and functional by the end of this year.
The new level three hospitals are Ndenderu, Gitothua, Kiawaroga in Limuru, Kiamumbi, Kawaida, Ndumberi, Gitaru, Kahawa Sukari, Kahawa Wendani, Athena in Thika, Kawaida, Mwihoko.
The new facilities, which, according to Governor Wamatangi, ensure that all wards in the county get at least one health facility, comprise an outpatient wing, a 26-bed maternity wing, a mini theatre, and a mini-laboratory.
“We have already secured the funds for all these projects we are doing. We have them in the bank. The projects will run concurrently to ensure by December, we will be opening all of them to serve the public,” the governor said.
“We are also setting up a Health Management System to connect all 114 facilities in the County for proper management and effective monitoring of service delivery, including, among other things, improving turnaround times and ensuring that each facility is adequately supplied so that, if stocks run low, the system will be able to notify for replenishing,” Wamatangi said.
Further, the county was completing four level four hospitals, namely Githunguri, Lari, Bibirioni in Limuru, Thogoto Kikuyu, and Wangige, which had been put on hold for years due to the previous administration’s failure to pay contractors at a cost of about Sh400 million.
Karuri Hospital in Kiambaa and Gachororo Level Three Hospital in Juja are also being upgraded to Level Three Hospitals, where each facility will get a 200-bed capacity block at a total cost of Sh420 million.
Yesterday, Waitangi commissioned the resumption of the construction of Thogoto Level Four Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility with 150 beds in Kikuyu Sub-County that was commissioned in 2016 The facility was meant to serve the area’s densely populated Kikuyu sub-county and parts of the nearby Ndeiya in Limuru, where patients had previously had to travel great distances to Kiambu, Tigoni, and Wangige hospitals.
However, due to a bad relationship between the contractor and county over the latter’s unwillingness by the previous administrations to pay outstanding bills, the construction of the building, which was supposed to be completed in just one year, was put on hold after the contractor abandoned the site.
Following the contractor’s abandonment, the project became a livestock grazing area in the messy property, with thieves stealing and vandalizing building supplies.
“Work has now resumed, and by December, we anticipate completion of the contract’s infrastructure work, allowing for immediate outfitting and operationalization,” Mr Wamatangi said.
The 150-bed Bibirioni Hospital, expected to cost around Sh300 million, was introduced in 2018 by former First Lady Margaret Kenyatta while Ferdinand Waititu was the Governor.
But after the contractor, Gokul Builders Limited, left the site due to unpaid invoices, the project—a multi-story building on a five-acre plot of land—is a far cry from the idealized vision intended to serve more than 100,000 people.
However, Governor Wamatangi cleared payments for the already performed work, and the project has now resumed.
The Lari Level Four project, situated at Rukuma along the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway, is expected to cost 192 million to create a 200-bed wing. However, the project’s execution was put off for years due to unpaid debts, but work has resumed following new negotiations between the county and the contractor.
Githunguri Level Four Hospital is another large-scale health project that the governor is working to complete and put into service. First Lady Margaret Kenyatta ordered this Sh800 million investment in 2018.
The 280-bed facility’s infrastructure is almost finished, and based on plans, it will have a multi-story modern facility with services like an intensive care unit, a modern outpatient clinic, a maternity ward, a mental health unit, and a cancer unit, casualty, and emergency unit among others.