Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital - Business Today
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the laying of the foundation stone of the Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre (IMIC) for Comprehensive Cancer Care. Looking on is Prof Olive Mugenda. [ Photo / Business Today ]

The Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH), a level-6 facility, was on 10th Sept. 2020 commissioned by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta at is grounds on the Northern bypass at Kahawa West in the capital Nairobi.

The dream to have a world-class University Hospital in Kenya was birthed in 2008 out of the desire of the then Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University, Prof Olive Mugenda, to build capacity for high-quality Teaching, Referral and Research in Healthcare for Kenya, and the East and Central African region.

Significant milestone

Out of this dream, this ultra-modern 650-bed state-of-the-art that includes 76- bed cancer (oncology) centre, renal unit, cardiology, physiotherapy and many other specialisations was born. It is also the first Hospital to operationalise the pure referral model for highly specialised and emergency cases.

The hospital is now fully operational in most speciality departments including General Surgery, Cardiology, OBS/Gyn, Neurosurgery and many others. This also marks a significant milestone in the health sector and is a part of the President’s Big Four Agenda that prioritises increased access to quality and affordable healthcare to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The launch was also marked by the President’s laying of a foundation stone for an Integrated Molecular imaging Centre (IMIC) and Hospitality Centre. The IMIC is a facility for the early diagnosis and monitoring treatment of cancer. KUTRRH is poised to become the only Public facility in East and Central African region to offer the comprehensive continuum of cancer care.

This centre will have state of the art PET/CT and SPECT/CT technologies that will help in early diagnosis and management of cancer that will be expected to increase the survival of cancer patients, reverse outbound medical tourism while at the same time increasing inbound medical tourism into Kenya.

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Comprehensive Cancer Care

One of the Hospital’s flagship projects is Comprehensive Cancer Care aimed at filling the cancer care gap in the country. Since operationalisation of the Hospital in October 2019, 4,737 cancer out-patients and 686 in-patients have been attended to in the facility. 

Patients come from all over Kenya with the majority coming from Kiambu, Nairobi, Nyeri, Meru, Muranga, Kirinyaga, Nyahururu and Laikipia.

There are only two (2) LINAC machines (Radiotherapy Treatment Equipment) in Kenya’s public hospitals – one at Kenyatta National Hospital and the other at KUTRRH.

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The LINAC machine at KUTRRH (CLINAC iX) is one of the latest Radiotherapy treatment equipment with a 3D treatment and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) capability, a highly specialised mode of treatment.

The hospital’s current Radiotherapy machine is already being utilised to its full capacity, with 50 to 60 patients receiving treatment daily and patient queues are to piling up with growing needs of care. An extra LINAC machine will double capacity for Radiotherapy from the current average of 60 patients daily to 120 per day.

Covid-19 Treatment and Isolation Centre

KUTRRH has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 in Kenya. KUTRRH was gazetted as a primary Treatment and Isolation facility on March 2020 and has been playing its role in helping the government’s fight against the pandemic by providing space and expertise to combat the spread of the disease in the country. 

More than 500 beds and a 24-Bed ICU were set aside for COVID-19 patients. An additional 25-beds ICU and 20 HDU bed IDU has been put up to beef up capacity for COVID-19 response. In August 2020, the President, speaking at a virtual COVID-19 briefing, announced that the country had begun flattening the curve.

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