Nairobi — President Mwai Kibaki has officially opened the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Nairobi and noted that the institution is a key development in the Government's efforts to provide accessible health services to Kenyans.
Noting that both the Kenya and Chinese governments contributed to the construction of the health facility, President Kibaki said the development is a good example of partnerships between governments in efforts to improve the welfare of citizens.
"The Chinese Government financed the construction of the hospital as well as provision of medical equipment. On its part, the Government of Kenya provided the land on which the hospital is built and also financed construction of support works as well as purchase of additional equipment," President Kibaki said.
He noted that the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital has served to decentralise and expand health services not only to Wananchi in the Eastern part of Nairobi County but also has reduced the pressure on Kenyatta National Hospital which was previously serving the area residents.
The President, once again, reaffirmed his Government's commitment to improving both preventive and curative health services, saying over the last 10 years the Government has sought to provide quality, affordable and accessible healthcare to all Kenyans.
"Our Vision 2030 as well as our new Constitution place high priority to the provision of health services to our people. Our mission has been to improve both preventive and curative health services to enable Kenyans engage in productive nation building activities," the Head of State said.
President Kibaki further noted that the Government has increased funding to the health sector, upgraded and equipped public health facilities, recruited more health workers and embraced information technology in the delivery of health services.
The President said, "The results of these efforts are that healthcare in Kenya has improved considerably over the last few years."
The President also observed that specific achievements realized include reduction in maternal, infant and under-five mortality, reduction in HIV/AIDS prevalence rates and massive increase in the use of ARV medication.
He further pointed out that efforts to combat malaria were bearing fruit as for the last few years there has been no malaria epidemic in the country.
However, the Head of State maintained that even though these developments were impressive, a lot more needs to be done and encouraged the incoming Government to place special emphasis on the health sector with a view to further increasing accessibility, affordability and quality of care.
President Kibaki also urged Kenyans to take personal responsibility for their health by avoiding risky behaviours such as excessive consumption of alcohol, drug abuse and promiscuity that may endanger their lives.
The Head of State expressed satisfaction that since it opened its doors, the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital has served close to 200,000 outpatients, about 7,000 inpatients and about 3,000 deliveries have taken place in the maternity wing.
He, therefore, encouraged the Ministry of Medical Services to expedite the expansion of the various facilities in the hospital, especially the inpatient wards to enable the institution serve more Kenyans.
President Kibaki appreciated the Chinese Government for financing the project at a cost of close to Kshs 550 million and acknowledged the good work done by the contractor, China Wu Yi Limited.
He also commended the different Government ministries and agencies for their role in providing additional works on the project site and in particular congratulated the Ministry of Medical Services for successfully spearheading the development of the health facility.
Speaking during the function the Minister for Cooperative Development and Marketing, Joseph Nyagah, commended the President for his visionary leadership that has seen many development projects initiated not only in the health sector but in all other fields in the country.
He observed that President Kibaki will leave a legacy that will be remembered by generations to come.
The same sentiments were echoed by the former Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu who further noted that the constituency has witnessed a lot of development in the ten year term of President Kibaki leadership.
In his part, Chinese Ambassador, Liu Guangyuan, appreciated that Kenya and China continue to enjoy a cordial relationship that has enhanced their partnership in various sectors.
Guangyuan in particular cited infrastructure, agriculture, communication, health, education, tourism and human resource development as some of the key sectors that have received assistance from his government.