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Advanced Care Closer to Home: JOOTRH Achieves Level 6 Status

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

The recent elevation of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) to Level 6 status marks a significant milestone in healthcare delivery for Nyanza and Western regions of Kenya. This certification, granted by the Kenya Health Professional Oversight Authority (KHPOA), highlights the hospital’s compliance with the highest national standards for medical facilities. Following an impressive showing in recent inspections, the upgrade will enhance the hospital’s capacity to provide comprehensive and specialized healthcare services.

One of the key benefits of the Level 6 certification is the expansion of specialized medical services at JOOTRH. The hospital now boasts 11 operational theatres, including dedicated maternity theatres, a robust oncology department for adult and pediatric patients, and a 13-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipped with patient monitors. These facilities ensure that patients in the region can access advanced medical care without the need to travel to Nairobi or other distant locations.

The certification also underscores JOOTRH’s role as a teaching hospital affiliated with Maseno and Uzima Universities. This status not only enhances the hospital’s capability to train future medical professionals but also ensures a continuous influx of fresh knowledge and practices, crucial for maintaining high standards of patient care. Medical students and interns contribute to a vibrant learning environment, fostering innovation and adherence to best practices in healthcare delivery.

Pharmacy services at JOOTRH have also been significantly improved, with recent acquisitions ensuring a steady supply of essential pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceutical supplies. This enhancement is vital for maintaining the quality of care, as it minimizes the risk of stock outs and ensures that patients have access to necessary medications at all times.

Despite these advancements, JOOTRH is committed to continuous improvement. One area of focus is waste management, with plans to increase the number of segregation bins and designated waste lines across all departments. Additionally, the outpatient department’s asbestos roof will be replaced with a more environmentally friendly material and emergency escape routes will be established at key service points.

Another significant challenge is space constraints, particularly in the Emergency and Accident department. The hospital leadership is actively exploring expansion options to accommodate the current workload. Additionally, efforts are underway to recruit additional staff, including critical care nurses, general nurses, medical officers, specialists, and medical officer interns. Addressing these staffing needs is a priority, and the hospital is confident that increased budgetary allocations can be secured to support the growing workload and ensure JOOTRH can meet the demands of its expanded services.

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