It is official: Kisii University will start the Faculty of Medicine in September at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital.
This is after President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned a histology and anatomy laboratory at health facility, guaranteeing it status of a teaching and referral hospital.
Kenyatta expressed his gratitude with the enormous work Governor James Ongwae’s administration has done to give the hospital a facelift befitting its new status.
“I’m happy that KTRH will now train medical doctors who will help our people,” he said.
Although health is a fully devolved function, it is also among the President’s Big Four agenda.
Before addressing a mammoth gathering at the facility, President Kenyatta witnessed the issuance of the Medical School’s certificate by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board to the university.
Board chairman Prof George Magoha issued the certificate to the university’s Vice Chancellor, Prof John Akama who displayed it to the jubilant attendees.
Health CS Cecilia Kariuki who conducted the certificate issuance ceremony said the university will admit its first batch of medical students in September.
“We hope that you will offer quality training and we will walk with you to ensure that you produce good doctors,” Kariuki said.
Today’s ceremony is a plus to devolution as KTRH which has been Governor Ongwae’s key project becomes then first ever public facility in Western Kenya to rise to the status of a teaching and referral hospital.
Alongside the histology and anatomy lab, the President commissioned a 250 bed capacity male ward, a modern incinerator and a 64-slide CT scan.
President Kenyatta noted that the availability of radiology equipment at county hospitals had reduced the burden of moving patients from upcountry to towns like Nairobi and Eldoret where the services were initially available.
The President said that to mitigate cancer which claims lives of Kenyans and drains families of their resources, his administration has obtained resources to build four cancer diagnostic and treatment cancer centres across the country.
“I’m happy to note that Kisii is the first beneficiary. We will inject Sh2 billion into this project here,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State was accompanied by his deputy, William Ruto NASA leader Raila Odinga, Chief Justice David Maraga and ministers Fred Matiang’I, Eugene Wamalwa and Kariuki.
Nyamira’s John Nyagarama and Wilbur Ottichilo of Vihiga were present.
Others were several current and former legislators from the Gusii region.
President Kenyatta asked nurses across the country who have boycotted work over salary increment to resume duty for the good of innocent and suffering patients, a matter that was echoed by Odinga.
Governor Ongwae lauded the President for his continued support for devolution and vowed to ensure Kisii rises to become the region’s medical tourism destination.
He said the hospital serves patients from neighboring counties of Migori, Nyamira, Homa Bay and Narok.
“We have cascaded some services by investing in theatres at the sub county hospitals. We also have a renal unit in Nyamache sub county hospital,” Governor Ongwae said.
President Kenyatta who was on a one-day developmental tour in Kisii was received in Suneka airstrip and driven through Suneka market, Kisii Town to Kisii School where he held a meeting with leaders drawn from Kisii and Nyamira Counties.
He then addressed a rally at the heart of Kisii Town before he had a comprehensive tour at the KTRH.
The Head of State said his administration will support the region on roads, agriculture, among other areas.
“An audit is ongoing to see how we can waive the debt owed by coffee farmers so that they don’t continue suffering,” President Kenyatta said.
He said the national government will support Kisii to finish the already upgraded Gusii Stadium.
“As I promised, we will allocate some funds to finish the stadium. Governor Ongwae has done a good job and we will support him. In future, we will have national holiday celebrations in the stadium,” Kenyatta said.