Nairobi — One of Kenya's newest and modern hospital has been renamed after the First Lady, Mrs Lucy Kibaki.
The Embakasi District Hospital, has been upgraded to augment Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
The 120 bed facility located at Nasra Gardens near Umoja in Embakasi constituency was upgraded to decongest KNH and offer specialised treatment services at the national level.
In a Gazette notice No 8009 published on Friday, Medical Services minister Prof Anyang Nyong'o announced the change of names from Embakasi District Hospital to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital Embakasi. The Notice is dated June 20.
The minister told Nation the Ministry changed the name following a request by the Embakasi District Development Committee early this year.
"We just changed the name to honour Mama Lucy, there is no problem about that," he said.
Embakasi MP Mr Ferdinand Waititu, confirmed that the District Development Committee discussed the matter and agreed on the change of names.
"I am aware of the decision, I support it because these are the people who brought the hospital to us," he said.
He explained that the hospital was a 'gift' from China handed to President Mwai Kibaki and his wife, the First Lady, who picked on the Embakasi District Hospital as the beneficiary.
China has fully funded the furnishing of the institution.
According to Mr Waititu, China had suggested that the medical institution be given a high profile name.
The committee in considering the change of names also considered the new name vis-à-vis future funding.
"They (China) are the ones who recommended that we give it a high profile name. They were of the view that if it was given the name of the First Lady, then it would be easier for it to get funding in the future within the Chinese circles," said the MP.
President Kibaki is more sensitive to having institutions given his names.
"We thought it was a comfortable name and so we went ahead to propose the same to the Ministry," said Mr Waititu.
It is hoped that naming the institution in the First Lady's names will also give it a boost in terms of prominence.
The area MP added that it was located in a nice place and it was a good facility.
According to Prof Nyon'go, the Ministry plans to move primary medical services to the district level so that KNH remains a referral hospital.
Prof Nyong'o said the Government is yet to confirm the date when the hospital will be officially opened.