The Sh40 million upgrade of a maternity wing at the Gilgil General and Psychiatric Hospital is fast taking shape.
The facility is expected to be operational later in the year. The County Government of Nakuru has already advertised for various healthcare workers posts to meet demand.
This weekend, county engineers, Gilgil MCA Hon Jayne Ngugi, hospital boss Dr Dorcas Murage and members of the hospital’s board of management toured the project on a routine inspection tour.
A surgical theatre at the hospital opened by Governor Lee Kinyanjui last year has so far attended to hundreds of caesarean and other surgeries.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui says the ongoing upgrades at the facility will ultimately alleviate suffering among locals after years of quality healthcare.
Previously, pregnant women and other patients in need of surgery were forced to travel to Naivasha sub-County Hospital or the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital.
Latest figures from the county’s Health department show that maternal mortality rates have declined in Nakuru by over 30 per cent in the past one year.
This has been attributed to facility upgrades, staffing and equipping of health facilities to give effective services to mothers and babies.
At the same time, the Cabinet in November 2019 decided to upgrade the hospital’s mental unit to be a satellite of Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital.
In May 2019, the Governor led Health minister Cecily Kariuki on a tour of the hospital where he sought for a special allocation from the national government to support the unit.
Currently, the unit has over 40 psychiatric patients with some having stayed at the facility for over 30 years.
Also, plans are underway to construct a Kenya Medical Training College at the 60-acre piece of land.
The County has allocated 32 per cent, amounting to Sh6.3 billion, of its total budget to healthcare financing.
Over Ksh 1 billion will be used in infrastructural upgrade across the County. The remainder goes towards the purchase of drugs and equipment, hiring of staff, training and promotions.