The Kenyan government on Friday (February 6th) signed a 38-billion shilling ($416 million) deal for the supply of medical equipment to public health institutions in all 47 counties.
The move will help to address the nationwide lack or shortage of critical hospital equipment, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia told Sabahi.
"The deal involves procurement of various types of equipment needed in health institutions which we shall supply to two public health centres in each county," he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the signing of the agreements to implement the Managed Equipment Services project at the State House in Nairobi.
The agreements involve local and international medical equipment suppliers and manufacturers selected through a competitive bid tendered last year.
"The contract also takes care of breakdowns of equipment because suppliers and manufacturers will be responsible for their regular maintenance and servicing," Macharia said, adding that the contract will include equipment for operating theatres, laboratories and intensive care units.
Around 21 billion shillings ($230 million) of the total amount will go towards the purchase of cancer diagnosis and treatment equipment, he said.
"We want to give the disease the attention it requires because it claims lives of 22,000 Kenyans annually," he said.
In his speech announcing the signing of the contracts, Kenyatta said the move to fund the modernisation of healthcare services was part of the government's vision "to ensure that Kenyans access modern, effective and high quality treatment in their counties".
"Today is an overdue milestone," he said. "Today, we inaugurate a programme through which people with cancer, diabetes or kidney failure will receive much needed relief, and begin to work towards regaining their full health with more confidence."
"This programme is not a one-off," he said, adding that budgetary arrangements were in place to provide 38 billion shillings annually to deliver health services to citizens.