The Best Hospitals in Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi apart from being the capital of Kenya is also the major center for economic and cultural activity for the country, as well as East Africa. As expected the Nairobi attracts a lot of tourists as the starting point for safaris and other travel throughout East Africa. Fortunately, the city has a large number of healthcare centers that provide medical services to the Kenyan population and the tourists visiting it. This article lists some of the best hospitals that can be trusted to serve you if you fall ill or have an accident in Nairobi.

The Nairobi Hospital is an up to date diagnostic and treatment center known throughout East Africa for its world class service to the public. The hospital was founded in 1954. It has an emergency center that delivers care on par with international standards. Other amenities at the hospital include highly a sophisticated diagnostic laboratory, a physical medicine center, ambulatory surgery and medical advisory services. The hospital runs a host of clinics throughout the week that cater to different medical needs. These include Family Health Clinic, Child Welfare Clinic, Clinic for the Elderly, Chemotherapy Center, Diabetes Clinic, Travel and Immunization Clinic, Breast Health Clinic and Chest Clinic. The Hospital is located on Argwings Kodhek Road, Nairobi.

The Kenyatta National Hospital at Nairobi was established in 1901 and called the Native Civil Hospital. It was renamed in honor of Jomo Kenyatta after the country gained independence from the British. Now it is the oldest and the largest hospital in the country. The hospital also serves as a National Referral and Teaching hospital.The hospital provides facilities for cancer treatment, physiotherapy, nutrition, public health, dentistry, dermatology, ophthalmology, pediatrics, obstetrics, orthopedics and surgery. The emergency department at the hospital offers services 24 hours a day.

The Aga Khan Health Services operates hospitals in various locations throughout Asia and Africa. This non-profit group dedicates itself to providing sophisticated and modern health services in developing countries. The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Nairobi is part of this group and established in 1958. The Accident and Emergency Center at the hospital is functional 24 hours and is equipped to handle heart problems and trauma, as well as cases of malaria and infectious diseases. Other facilities at the hospital include an intensive care unit, maternity services, ambulance services, diagnostic laboratory, Lamaze classes, ear, nose and throat surgery, general surgery, oncology, orthopedics, urology, ophthalmology and gynecology. AKUH provides consistent and advanced care to its patients.

Karen Hospital at Langata Road, Nairobi was founded by Dr. Dan and Betty Gikonyo in alliance with their two close friends. Karen Hospital aims to revolutionize the level of healthcare services available in Kenya and Africa. It is a fully equipped hospital that furnishes comprehensive quality services which include gastroenterology, neurology, pediatrics, internal medicine and a chest clinic. It also delivers an HIV/AIDS treatment program, along with dental services, diabetes care, physiotherapy and nutritional advice. The emergency department at the hospital is operational round the clock.

The Mater Hospital was initiated by the Sisters of Mercy from Ireland and is dedicated to providing outstanding healthcare to the less privileged in Kenya. Established in 1962, Mater Hospital has an emergency unit that is recognized to be amongst the best throughout East and Central Africa. It has units specializing in treatment of industrial accidents, gunshot wounds, disaster care, tropical diseases, poisons, and more. The hospital has a host of other facilities featuring ambulance services, a 24 hour laboratory, an intensive care unit and sophisticated operating rooms.

The Coptic Hospital at Nairobi belongs to the Coptic Orthodox Church and aims to provide high quality medical care at affordable prices. The treatment facilities found at the hospital include maternity services, pediatric care, a diagnostic laboratory, 24 hour casualty and ambulance services. It also has special TB and HIV programs, dental clinic and facilities for minor and major laparoscopic procedure.

Schools: Indispensible Allies to Mental Health

For most children (ideally, all children), schooling serves as their primary occupation. We cannot begin to discount the impact our schools play. Needless to say, educators and school personnel are indispensable allies to our children’s holistic well-being.

Jeannie Goulbourn, who lost her daughter to suicide, founded the Natasha Goulbourn foundation (NGF). NGF has brought in HOPE suicide crisis hotline in our country. She reportedly said; “suicide ranks third as cause of death among people ages 10 to 24. We can point to many reasons why suicide is highly prevalent on the youth. NAMI or the National Alliance for Mental Health aptly said that; “Schools provide a unique opportunity to identify and treat mental health conditions by serving students where they already are. School personnel play an important role in identifying the early warning signs of an emerging mental health condition and in linking students with effective services and supports.” NAMI is an organization located in Arlington Virginia serves as the United States’ largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Recently, a news story spoke of a teenager from the province of Antique, Philippines who reportedly committed suicide due to disappointment. Her mother, apparently did not allow the teenager to go with her to the town proper to get the money that her father. The father, who works as a construction worker in Boracay, sent money through a remittance center. The teenager wanted her mom to buy her a bag. The mother arrived home to see her daughter hanging dead.

Over the past years efforts to increase awareness on mental health have been more evident in our country. Legislators have been pushing for a Mental Health Act. Hospitals and NGO’s are working closely together too. Their recent efforts have them reaching out to schools. For one, the Medical City section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from their Psychiatric Department is encouraging people to sound the SOS on suicide and self-harm in our schools by hosting an annual Teen Congress.

Activities as these, hope for bigger presence from educators. It is a dream for schools to actively join in the forum. As earlier mentioned, once a child starts to head off to school; they actually spend more of their active and conscious time in school than at home. Of course, we cannot argue that educating the children with proper values begins at home; but the school plays a very crucial role in the selfhood or identity of our children.

Throughout our children’s schooling years, our children build up their sense of competency. They are given tasks to perform and accomplish in both in school. Their performances is gauged and estimated to mean they are doing good or bad; whether they are smart of dumb. Naturally, a child will be able to observe and estimate himself on his own. Consequently, the peers’ judgment of his ability or inability becomes his measure of estimate too. Compounded by the adults’ (the teachers, neighbors and family) expressed estimate of how they are doing, our children builds up to capitalize that perceived competency. They begin to either feel they are unflagging and at par with what are expected, or they begin to feel that they are not. And their feelings of inferiority begin to be their estimate of themselves. It begins to be their perceived worth or self-esteem.

As they move towards adolescence, they will likely continue to explore and battle with their worthiness. The constancy of their previous perception of themselves will either strengthen their idea of who they are as an individual or make them question what they previously thought of themselves. That idea is regardless, of whether their estimate is good or bad making them a “great and cool kid” or the “wall-flower”. The continued tasks on both academic and social adaptation lend to be part of the estimation. The peer and adult approval or disapproval does the same.

The strong and well-founded identity, strengthened by supportive and caring environment is a factor strongly linked to mental health. Much of the formative experiences we all go through happen within the confines of our schools. Our educators’ awareness of mental health will not only play a crucial role. It makes them indispensable allies.

Christine P. Garay, LPT
SpEd Learning Consultant
Experienced Special Education Professional with a demonstrated history of working in the individual and family services industry. Skilled in Assessment of Special Children, Behavior Coaching, Family and Support Group Facilitation, Program Development for children with special needs, Teaching different age groups. Strong education professional with a Master of Arts (M.A.) focused in Special Education and Teaching (30 units) from University of the Philippine, Diliman.. Also a former educator for the De La Salle Philippines, Inc.