The first heart laboratory outside Nairobi has been opened at the Aga Khan Hospital, Mombasa.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta led a colourful inauguration ceremony of the state-of-the-art cardiac catheterisation laboratory that was also graced by Princess Zahra Aga Khan and other dignitaries.
The new unit consists of modern equipment capable of performing complex cardiac procedures including angioplasties and pacemakers, and a three-bed coronary care unit all supported by advanced radiology and other diagnostic services.
A small percentage of such services were only offered in Nairobi and in India.
In her remarks, Mrs Kenyatta said cases of non-communicable diseases are growing at a rapid pace and the catheterisation laboratory is a significant addition to the health care provision efforts.
She said that in her endeavour through her Beyond Zero initiative that had taken her to 47 counties, she had has been devastated by the poor state of health facilities that could not treat preventable diseases.
“In Kenya, more than 300,000 people die from diseases that are preventable,” she said, adding that the health sector should focus on preventing such diseases in the next decade.
She thanked the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) for the contribution.
In her welcome remarks, Princess Zahra Aga Khan highlighted the long, diverse and rich partnership that exists between the government and the AKDN.
Princess Zahra said that the launch of the cardiology programme would allow residents of the Coast region to receive world class care.
“In an emergency situation, immediate cardiac care is required within 90 minutes for which a catheterisation laboratory is a must.
“The new unit will save many lives and also improve the quality of life of cardiac patients,” she said.
She said that the Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa will expand its reach in the Coast region by opening nine more outreach centres in the next three years.