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It’s Time for the National Government to take over the Running of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

The Ministry of Health will run the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, taking over from the Kisumu County Government. Widely known as Russia Hospital, this medical institution has been a cornerstone of healthcare provision in the region since its inception in 1969.

The move to elevate Russia Hospital to level six is a response to the escalating demand for advanced medical services in the area. A specialized team from the Ministry, accompanied by representatives from the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC), conducted thorough inspections to assess the facility’s readiness for national government management.

Operating at level five, Russia Hospital is a vital regional referral centre, extending its healthcare services to over ten counties in the Lake region. However, this status quo has strained the resources allocated to the Kisumu County government, as the operational costs are solely on the local administration.

The elevation of Russia Hospital to level six will align it with other distinguished healthcare facilities across Kenya, including Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, and Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital. This upgrade will unlock substantial funding opportunities and significantly enhance healthcare services.

Kisumu’s Deputy Governor, Dr Mathew Owili, and Seme Member of Parliament, Dr James Nyikal, have expressed staunch support for the takeover, emphasizing the hospital’s potential to handle the healthcare needs of the region. Additionally, Russia Hospital is a crucial training ground for medical students from Maseno University and Uzima University, underscoring its pivotal role in medical education.

Over the years, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital has achieved numerous milestones in its quest to provide comprehensive healthcare services. From its humble beginnings in 1969 to its current status as a regional referral centre, the hospital has continuously evolved to meet the developing healthcare needs of the community.

Significant achievements include infrastructural expansions, the introduction of specialized medical services like a sickle cell response centre, eye treatment centre, gender-based violence response centre, and strategic partnerships with educational institutions for medical training. These efforts have firmly positioned Russia Hospital as a beacon of hope for the residents of Kisumu and its environs, offering accessible and high-quality healthcare services to all.

As the Ministry of Health proceeds with the takeover process, there is a prevailing optimism that Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital will continue to play an instrumental role in advancing healthcare delivery in the region.

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