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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 7 September 2014

BIG SHOT IN MACHAKOS HEALTH SECTOR AS MKU PARTNER WITH COUNTY



Machakos Level 5 Hospital will soon become a teaching and referral hospital, thanks to a Memorandum of United signed between Mount Kenya University and Machakos Level 5 Hospital.

The MoU, which comes as the university is preparing to admit its pioneer class of the School of Medicine, covers several mutually beneficial areas to the two institutions. Staff and students from the MKU Schools of Medicine, Health Sciences, Pharmacy, Nursing and Pure and Applied Sciences, will use Machakos Hospital for teaching, research, clinical and public health practice. Students will also get practical attachment at the hospital.

In return, MKU will support the hospital in staff capacity development, as well as grant access to its facilities notably the library, laboratories, classes, sports field and other amenities.
During the signing of the MoU at Machakos level 5 hospital recently, MKU vice chancellor  Stanley Waudo said the new deal accentuates the university’s reputation as a pacesetter in establishing industrial linkages.

Prof Waudo said that both institutions would be engaged in collaborating research. He said the partnership would help the duo identify their strength and weakness. He said MKU was ISO certified adding this was a licence to indicate that the varsity offered quality education. “We at MKU emphasise on quality and relevance. He said MKU did not wait for students to come to the university but instead reached out for them by establishing various campuses in the country and the region at large. I feel privileged to state here that MKU was the first university to establish a primary school educational training programme for refugees at the biggest refugee camp at Daadab,” said Prof Waudo.

The don said the collaboration between the two institutions will among other things fight disease and poverty and enhance economical and educational growth for the benefit of Kenyans. He commended the government’s efforts to support public private partnership, adding the same was vital for prosperity. He added that the two institutions will create synergy by pulling resources together.   

“By establishing more industrial linkages and partnerships, we are setting the pace for other universities on the importance of sharing knowledge, human resource and academic infrastructure so as to confront the challenges that face our society,” he said.
MKU has links with Thika Level 5 Hospital, Kiambu County Assembly, National Museums of Kenya and Kenya Forestry Research Institute, among others.

“This MoU is further proof of the universal recognition of our academic programmes,” said MKU vice chancellor. Early this year, MKU in partnership with Thika Level 5 Hospital, opened the Sh300 million General Kago Road Funeral Home/Anatomy Lab in Kiambu county. The anatomy lab paved the way for accreditation of the MKU School of Medicine by the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board.

Prof Kimathi Kigatiira, dean, MKU School of Medicine said the MoU with Machakos Level 5 Hospital will give more practical exposure to the MKU students.
“The role of universities is to train and conduct research which will lead to generation of new knowledge. This MoU provides yet another platform to enhance this training,” he said. He added that with the increased capacity to train medical students, MKU will increase the number of students it admits to the School of Medicine. The MoU will be valid for a period of 15 years.  Kigatiira said MKU has purchased a further Sh50 million equipment to support school of medicine.

Helen Nzuki is the medical superintendent of the Machakos Level 5 Hospital which started in 1922. In 2008 the hospital elevated to level 5 status and has 410 bed capacity and planning to expand and become a teaching and referral hospital. The Machakos medical and professional hospital staff will impart practical knowledge, attitudes and skills.

The hospital has experience to teach medical doctors and interns since 1950.The hospital has well maintained facilities ready to become a teaching and referral hospital. Currently, it is serving over 10,000 outpatients and 1,000 inpatients. Two weeks ago, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta declared the hospital has the cleanest medical facility in the country in the category of public facilities. The hospital has 30 medical officers, 11 pharmacist, 27 clinical officers, seven dentists and 218 nurses. She said that over 100 more nurses would be employed by the county government. She said that the hospital conducts a weekly continuous medical examination programme in which students attend to improve their skills and knowledge.

She said students from MKU who were training in clinical medicine started dropping into the institution even before the signing of the MoU. The hospital has been an internship training centre since 1981. “We have trained students from medical training colleges since 1950s when the college was founded. We have nursing students from Aga Khan University as well as those from other universities,” said Dr Nzuki. 

The Medical Supt said that deliveries at the hospitals were 600 per month while the caesarian section was 20pc. Dr Nzuki said the average of outpatient attendance is about 10,000 patients per month, with inpatients reaching 1,000 admissions per month and a similar number of maternity admissions.

Director planning and administration Joshua Sietenei represented by his deputy Jeremiah Mwinzi said that the partnership marks a milestone development in provision of quality healthcare in a sustainable manner in the county and neighbourhood.

Chief officer for health Machakos county Kennedy Auma said that Machakos county government has procured 70 new ambulances and has now a total of 79 ambulances that will go a long way in reducing maternal mortality and emergencies as every location has an ambulance in line with the MDGs. He emphasised that health is a responsibility of every one.

Machakos county secretary Francis Mwaka applauded the ministry of Health for elevating the county activities through vibrant strategies to promote health. He expressed the priority of motivating the health officers and workers especially at this time when health services have been devolved. Enabling environment will ensure every location in the county has a hospital. Training institutions are highly encouraged to open campuses in Machakos county.

 He welcomed Mount Kenya University to partner with the hospital and add value to the community in mutual relationship. He applauded the university the growth and joining the league of universities offering medical and health related courses. He said the emergence of private universities offering top notch curricula will develop human resource capacity needed by Kenya and the region. Machakos Hospital will see more personnel employed. The county has allocated 60 acres to establish a health city comprising of a research and innovation centre.

County executive member for health Naomi Mutie said that efforts are in place to increase access to quality health care as enshrined in the Kenyan constitution. Reduction of maternal and child mortality is a priority. Mount Kenya University will use the Machakos Level 5 Hospital which was ranked the cleanest level 5 hospital last month by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. Residents of Machakos will benefit as students get practical training.
She said on human resources for health, they had employed 70 EMTs, absorbed 160 ESP staffs and 16 medical officers and “we are in the process of recruiting five consultants for Renal Unit, ICU, 10 radiographers and 20 critical care nurses,” she said.

Mount Kenya University is a chartered university operating as a non-profit making institution of higher learning in East Africa. The university has its main campus in Thika town, 45 kilometres North East of Kenya’s capital Nairobi.  It has other campuses in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kakamega, Kitale, Lodwar, Kabarnet, Eldoret, Kisii, Mombasa, Nkubu, Kigali (Rwanda) and Hargeisa (Somali land). The university is among the top 10 universities and the leading private university in science and technology in East Africa. Its service delivery is guided by the ISO 9001: 2008 international certification.

The university provides a stimulating learning environment through an innovative student-based and quality driven approach to teaching and learning. We ensure that our students enjoy a rich, highly interactive and personalised learning environment, which is essential in the realisation of one’s potential and preparation for the future. Those who choose Mount Kenya University get access to a wide-range of courses that form a springboard to a sea of opportunities. We seek to promote a record of achievement and success in academic excellence and job prospects.

To enable our students realise their lifetime agenda, we have invested heavily in facilities and staff. Mount Kenya University is on the forefront in using Information and Communications Technology to support learning and teaching. We have blended the use of e-learning with traditional learning and teaching values to give our students a flexible and dynamic learning experience. Our aim is to become a leading centre of academic excellence and a preferred destination for all those who aspire for an academically fulfilling experience. Recently, the university, which received a charter on January 26 2011, was admitted to the Association of Commonwealth Universities.