NAIROBI, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday officially opened a hospital whose construction was funded by the Chinese government to scale up access to health services in the East African country.
Kibaki, who opened the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, said the institution is a key development in the government's efforts to provide accessible health services to Kenyans.
"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," he said.
The Kenyan leader noted that both the Kenya and Chinese governments contributed to the construction of the health facility, saying the development was a good example of partnerships between governments in efforts to improve the welfare of citizens.
He noted that the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital has served to decentralize and expand health services not only to patients in the Eastern part of Nairobi County but also has reduced the pressure on Kenyatta National Hospital which was previously serving the area residents.
Kibaki 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," he said.
Kibaki 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 results of these efforts are that healthcare in Kenya has improved considerably over the last few years," he said.
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 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.
Chinese Ambassador Liu Guangyuan said Kenya and China continue to enjoy a cordial relationship that has enhanced their partnership in various sectors.
Liu in particular cited infrastructure, agriculture, communication, health, education, tourism and human resource development as some of the key sectors that have received assistance from the Chinese government.
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.