18 February 2013

Kenya: Boutique Hospitals Come to Nairobi

Women in Nairobi and the region as a whole can now expect to receive high quality maternity care thanks to the newly boutique hospital.

Royal Gardens Hospital aims to deliver world class reproductive health and child health services in a more friendly and comfortable environment.

Located in the heart of Lavington along Mzima Springs next to Strathmore School, this boutique hospital provides homely and warm environment for maternal care while taking in consideration the personal needs of patients and their families. Boutique hospitals normally provide personalised care to patients and discharge them earlier than standard hospitals.

"It was completely a different experience when I made the choice to deliver at Royal Gardens. Given that this was my first pregnancy, the experience was far from the painful and harrowing stories I have heard," said Bridget Kathambi.

Not only do patients receive a hotel-experience while at the hospital, the management has initiated a variety of products for women seeking maternity care. For instance, women will have a choice of Under Water Bath, a specialty that is not common in most hospitals in the country.

Apart from this pain relieving method, women can also choose to have normal birth, caesarean-section deliveries or through a natural birth which is safer if a mother has had a smooth easy pregnancy.

The hospital has staff and facilities to complement all methods required by expecting mothers. Talk of mid wives and secluded rooms for those who choose natural births to tubs of warm water for those who opt for under water birth.

"We are committed to provision of high standard services. Our interest as a hospital is not being the best, but to give our clients quality services and make their experience exceptional while at Royal," said Dr Charles Wasike, the CEO of Royal Gardens Hospital.

With bed occupancy of 75, the hospital offers full board hotel facilities that drive away the hospital mentality from a patient. Ten of the rooms are private en suite.

According to an administrator at the hospital, there is no limit to visiting hours. For family members and friends who wish to be close to the patient, there are facilities that cater for such situations.

The hospital offers accommodation to non-patients so that they can be close to their relatives or friends admitted in the hospital. Apart from private en suite rooms, clients can choose to use alternative rooms such as Royal, Premier and Standard that goes for affordable rates.

According to Jane Wambui, a United Nations employee, who was a patient at the hospital, the new strategy made it easier for her to generally feel at home and disregard the hospital environment.

"My husband was there with me until I delivered. As a mother, it would have been even harder for my six-year old son, but he was also allowed unlimited access to my room until the day I was discharged," Wambui said.

Apart from the Jacuzzi like tub that gives the much-needed massage throughout the labour process, a client at the hospital will also find extra packages such as Lamaze classes which basically prepares couples for the coming of the child. Swimming aerobics is also part of new programmes for pregnant mothers.

"Our plans are to serve the customers and continue to lead the way in provision of comprehensive services ranging from maternity, gynaecology, laboratory services, and pediatric care," Erick Wafukho, the hospital's board chairman said.

According to Wafukho, the hospital's focus will remain to provide unparalleled and highest quality care in the region.

Royal Gardens Hospital is a story of what begun as a small clinic in Lang'ata 12 years ago.

It was set up by a group of doctors who realised that maternity services had been neglected in Kenya for many years.

Prior to its opening, the directors had attempted to bridge the gap by setting up clinics along Jogoo Road, in Westlands and along Ngong Road.

But due to demand for specialised maternity services and the need to centralise the services, Royal Gardens Hospital was born in 2010 in Lavington.

The hospital plans to expand in the coming years targeting the average working Kenyan.

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