President Uhuru Kenyatta said Thursday Kenya will host the East African Kidney Institute to help improve access to healthcare services for renal patients.

Kenyatta said that the institute, which is under construction, will serve patients from countries in the region who may have to seek treatment elsewhere.

“Patients travelling for treatment in South Africa, India and Britain will come to an end and their expenditures will be reduced,” Kenyatta told ministers and delegates attending the 8th East Africa Healthcare Federation Conference in Nairobi.

In a speech read on his behalf by Cabinet Secretary for Health Sicily Kariuki, Kenyatta said that with the increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases in east Africa, further investments are required in the field of diagnostics.

“We require diagnostics in cancer, heart disease, interventional radiology and radio-oncology which are essential to this region,” he added.

The Kenyan leader called for public-private partnerships to help improve access to health services by leveraging on the use of technology such as telemedicine and medical education through e-learning.

He observed that deep mobile phone penetration in the region provides an opportunity for leveraging on mobile technology to provide better access to health services.

The objective of the two-day conference is to increase opportunities, collaboration and innovation in the private health sector to improve overall health outcomes through a multisectoral approach in the region.

Kenyatta noted that his government has taken steps to enhance diagnostic and specialized treatment capacity so that patients can get kidney dialysis and mammography services across 47 county health facilities.

“We have distributed Intensive Care Units (ICU) centers in the regions besides setting up 10 cancer centers across the country besides the two at Kenyatta national and Moi referral hospitals,” he said.

Kenyatta noted that the global health community and the east Africa region have make remarkable progress in key health indicators, such as lower under-five mortality, wider coverage of HIV treatment, and fewer tuberculosis cases and related deaths. Enditem

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