Peter Ngila @peterngilanjeri
As efforts towards actualisation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) intensify, the government has provided 37 counties with Computed Tomography (CT) and MRI machines. This will further make it possible for Kenyans to be tested and scanned in local hospitals, without necessarily travelling to Nairobi and other major towns offering similar services.
However, the programme has been associated with scandals, which hint at the possibility of financial misappropriation. The CT and MRI programme is being delivered to the 37 counties as the rest have access to the machines.
Access to machines
Some of the hospitals include; Narok County Referal Hospital, King Fahad County Referral Hospital in Lamu, Voi Referral Hospital in Taita Taveta, Thika Level Five Hospital, Iten County Referral Hospital in Elgeyo Marakwet and Kakamega County Referral Hospital.
Other medical facilities in counties across the country have been completed and will start operating with the CT and MRI machines as soon as they are launched.
They include; Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital – which has 128 cross-sectional images (slices) – Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, Isiolo County Referral Hospital, Migori County Referral Hospital, Kerugoya Referral Hospital, Embu Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital and Hola Referral Hospital.
Two months ago, at Voi Referral Hospital, Deputy President William Ruto launched a Sh100 million CT scan imaging machine with a capacity of 240 images a day. Other equipment are based in Mombasa, Ol Kalau in Nyandarua county, Mombasa and Nakuru.
Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) National Data Centre will serve as a Centre of Excellence in a two-storey building, with the ground floor housing CT machines and other supportive equipment. Radiologists will be accommodated on the second floor from where they will interpret the mages.
Last month, health experts from 10 African countries visited Thika Level Five Hospital’s CT Scan Centre on a benchmarking tour. The delegation praised the hospital’s modern CT scan facility, which for the two months it has been in operation has served more than 600 patients.
The visit was soon followed by a 69-member Ugandan delegation at Kericho Hospital to benchmark CT scan technology as part of UHC success. At Kapsabet Hospital, construction of a theatre, renal unit and CT scan is almost complete. The DP commissioned it two months ago.
Rashid Amana, Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Health, urges MCAs to support healthcare in their respective counties. “Someone’s health comes before anything else. Most rural area medical facilities are in a deplorable state, and something needs to be done,” he said.