China helping rural Kenyans access healthcare

By Edith Mutethya(chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2016-12-08 09:48:57

Michael Asola, Synergy Innovations' chief operations officer (left), exchanges signed agreement with Zhou Shumin, director, Low-Cost Health Solutions Centre at SIAT, during the handover ceremony of general modularized container clinics in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 7. EDITH MUTETHYA/CHINA DAILY

Four modular container clinics donated by the Chinese government will be used to provide healthcare in remote parts of Kenya.

The donation made possible by the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is valued at 2.75 million yuan ($400, 000) to the Kenyan government.

At the official handover ceremony in Nairobi on Dec 7, Guo Ce, the economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said the new clinics would bring medical access to Kenyans, especially those living in remote areas, where health facilities are few.

"The containers have been customized into mobile grass-roots general clinics in order to offer convenient daily healthcare, screening, basic medical treatment and public health-care services for the rural residents," he said.

He noted that the clinics were made using well-established Chinese technology and designed in accordance with the African nation's healthcare needs.

Guo said the donation, was a concrete and practical action taken by the Chinese government to help African countries improve basic medical and healthcare facilities and conditions.

"The project will help to further deepen the scientific and technological cooperation between the two governments," he said.

He added that the project was an important step under the program for healthcare science and technology, as well as a significant step to realize the spirit of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

According to Lv Jiancheng, the director of Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, said the donation to Kenya followed the handing over of four modularized clinics to South Africa in Dec 2015.

He noted that the institute had also donated 10 similar clinics to Cameroon and seven to Botswana.

Michael Asola, Synergy Innovations' chief operations officer (left) and Zhou Shumin, director, Low-Cost Health Solutions Centre at SIAT (right), sign a memorandum of understanding during the handover ceremony of general modularized container clinics in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 7. EDITH MUTETHYA/CHINA DAILY

"I believe that with the great assistance and support of the Kenyan government and the Chinese embassy in Kenya, the project will be successfully applied," he said.

The clinics are divided into three sections; treatment, examination and infusion areas.

Synergy Innovations, a Kenyan-based company that has been engaged to maintain the clinics, create awareness and develop the product commercially.

Company director Errol King said the deployment of the clinics will save Kenyans living in rural areas having to travel long distances to access health facilities.

King said the clinics were expected to be up and running by February next year. So far, the logistics system has been set up and discussions with various county governments were progressing.

"In the near future, we will expand to offering service delivery on other types of health challenges within the same system. We plan to have specialized units and it's our hope that the county governments will embrace the clinics," he says.

Michael Asola, Synergy Innovations' chief operations officer said deploying the clinics would be easier compared to normal clinics because they don't have to go through the lengthy process of land acquisition.

He said modular clinics come ready with all the necessary medical equipment and a computerized system, allowing faster extraction of information by the medical fraternity. Any place that has a population of 5000 people is ideal for modularized clinics, he said.

In Botswana and South Africa, the clinics have been a success.

The officials and executives pose for a group photo during the handover ceremony of general modularized container clinics in Nairobi, Kenya, on December 7. EDITH MUTETHYA/CHINA DAILY

"Per day, the clinics can handle between 50 to 100 patients," he said.

The Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology was launched and co-built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen Municipal Government and the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2006.

The institute's industry wing, Shenzhen Kangva Technology, focuses on the development and promotion of low-cost health-care Haiyun projects.

It has developed and manufactured suitable products for Chinese township hospitals and rural healthcare-oriented clinics, including multi-functional check-up beds, portable out-patient kits, container clinics and containerized hospitals.

As of last month, more than 50,000 demonstration sites had been built, covering a population of over 80 million.

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