In a bid to decongest Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), East Africa’s largest referral hospital recently launched a branch in Othaya, Nyeri County. Known as KNH Othaya Annex, the facility is a level 6 teaching and referral hospital, serving eight counties in the Mount Kenya region.
It is aimed at saving patients the hassle of travelling to Nairobi in search of medical attention. The 300-bed capacity Othaya Annex is well equipped and offers services similar to what is offered at the Nairobi facility with an intensive care unit, new born unit, trauma, and accidents unit.
One of the major facilities set-up at the Othaya Annex is the oxygen plant. During a tour of the hospital in Othaya, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said discussions to set up the facility were informed by the realization that Central Kenya lacked an oxygen plant and that the Othaya Annex would significantly boost the provision of healthcare in the region.
The Operationalization of Othaya Annex in Nyeri County is part of a strategy to decongest Kenyatta National Hospital with an announcement in May 2021 stating that the hospital shall, as of July 2021, only be serving referral patients.
This positions the Othaya Annex to receive patient referrals from Mount Kenya and neighbouring regions including Northern Kenya. Under the leadership of Chief Executive, Dr Evanson Kamuri, the staff and management of KNH have been working round the clock to ensure the Othaya Annex hospital receives all required equipment and personnel to cater to referral cases.
Heralded as a centre of excellence not only in Kenya but across East Africa, the team from Kenyatta National Hospital will, through the Othaya Annex, deliver efficient healthcare services to deal with non-communicable diseases, like diabetes, kidney problems and cancer among others.