China handed over a 10.5 billion Kenyan shillings (104 million U.S. dollars) hospital to Kenyan authorities.
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Guo Ce, economic and commercial counselor of Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said during the handover ceremony in Nairobi that the Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital is the first hospital project fully financed by Chinese concessional loan.
"It has been equipped with the world-class medical facilities which are rare not only in Kenya but also in China," said Guo.
The hospital was built by China Jiangxi International Economic and Technical Cooperation Co., Ltd.
Guo said that as a reliable development partner and true friend, the Chinese government cooperates closely with the Kenyan side and has provided massive financial and technical support since 1960s, adding that the Chinese government has offered a lot of loan support to Kenya.
The Chinese envoy noted that half of all loans from China are on preferential export buyer credit and government concessional loans at low interest rates, which are just a quarter or even less than the prevailing international financial market rates.
"With these loans, dozens of projects were completed, such as Thika road, Nairobi bypass roads, several transmission lines, 140 mw Olkaria geothermal wells and also Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)," Guo said.
Olive Mugenda, chairperson of Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital, said that the new modern hospital will complement the work of the two other existing referral hospitals in Kenya.
Mugenda said that Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital will improve the lives of Kenyans through facilitating evidence-based health care in the country.
According to the chairperson, all the infrastructural works for the hospital has been completed and recruitment of personnel will begin in June.
"We will perform a dry run of the hospital at the end of July ahead of the opening of the facility to patients in mid-August," she said.
In addition, the facility is expected to host the first breast cancer treatment facility in Kenya.
Joseph Kinyua, head of public service, said that the state of the art hospital will help Kenya achieve its strategy on universal healthcare.
Kinyua said that Kenya losses significant amount of foreign exchange when its citizens go abroad to search for medical treatment.
"This hospital facility will help Kenya to reduce outbound medical tourism and promote inbound medical tourism from the rest of Africa," he added. ■