President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Government is in the process of setting up an international-standard neuro psychiatric hospital as part of ongoing efforts to address the challenge of mental health in the country.
Speaking during talks with Mr Kamel Ghribi, chairman of GKSD, one of the top private hospitals in Italy, President Kenyatta said mental health was a growing challenge in Kenya and the region, creating an urgent need for a specialist hospital to cater for the rising cases.
“This is something which has been long overdue. This facility will help in tackling the growing cases of mental health patients. Mental health is becoming one of the biggest health challenge in the country and having a centre helping in tackling the problem will be great,” President Kenyatta said.
The construction of the 600-bed capacity hospital will start mid next month on an 80-hectare parcel of land in Karen/Ngong area.
Besides offering treatment to mental health patients, the hospital, with a walk-in capacity of 1000 patients daily, will also host a specialist university to train mental health workers.
President Kenyatta thanked GKSD for agreeing to partner with Kenya in the setting up of the Hospital, saying their support will expand the country’s capacity to address the rising cases of mental illnesses.
“It is quiet in order to have a facility that will attract the right skills and I highly appreciate,” the President said.
On his part, Mr Ghribi assured the President of his organization’s full commitment to supporting Kenya achieve her objective of offering quality and affordable mental health services not only to its citizens but also to patients from the region.
“We are committed to quality health services. As an organization we will ensure this facility becomes a premier international neuropsychiatric and wellness centre in Africa and beyond,” Mr Ghribi assured.
In the meeting, also attended by Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, Amref Health Africa signed an MOU with GKSD for consultancy services, development and delivery of the mental health hospital.