Mr Thyaka Kituku escaped death narrowly four years ago after he was hit by a speeding car while crossing Mombasa-Nairobi highway at Kwa Sukuma in Makueni County.
Occupants of the personal car hurriedly picked up Mr Kituku, who had broken his left leg and right hand, and rushed him to Makindu Sub-County Hospital 28 kilometres away, where they dumped him and fled.
Although Mr Kituku is yet to recover fully to the point of resuming doing menial jobs, which are his economic mainstay, he acknowledges that had treatment been delayed, the situation would have been worse.
“I owe my life to the immediate attention I received in hospital,” the 32-year-old told Saturday Nation at his home in Kamunyuni village, extolling the public hospital that has been the port of call for road accident victims in the area and beyond.
His story mirrors that of thousands of lucky victims of accidents that have occurred on that section of the busy highway, stretching all the way from Salama to Mariakani.
Previously, accident victims on the nearly 200 kilometre stretch between Nairobi and Mtito Andei would be ferried all the way to Kenyatta National Hospital for specialised treatment due to lack of modern medical facilities in the local hospitals.
Those who were involved in accidents between Mtito Andei and Mombasa would be transferred to Coast General Hospital due to lack of modern facilities in hospitals along that stretch.
Ms Mary Shali, a patient, said she could have been forced to travel to Mombasa for a head scan after she was involved in an accident.
But this will no longer be necessary following the installation of a Computed Tomography (CT) scan machine at Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, which will see accident victims attended to at the facility.
The Voi centre houses a Sh100 million life-saving CAT scan imaging machine with a capacity of 240 images per day.
It was launched by Deputy President William Ruto early this week.
Mr Ruto said the centre will go a long way in easing the burden of patients, who had to travel long distances for diagnosis in the past.
“When we formed the government, we made a decision that we must improve the healthcare of Kenyans by reducing the distance they are forced to travel to seek medical help. And that is why we promised to install CAT scan machines in at least 37 hospitals countrywide,” he said.
The high-level imaging machine will save thousands of patients from being referred to hospitals in Mombasa and Moshi in Tanzania.
The installation of the machine is a national government project being implemented under the Universal Health Coverage initiative, which is part of the government’s Big Four Agenda.
The CAT scan will also aid in early detection of chronic diseases and various forms of cancer.
The Sh120 million 64 slide medical equipment is able to serve up to 20 patients in a day, cutting up to 60 per cent of referrals.
The county hospital frequently receives accident survivors who mostly require specialised scans.
A senior radiographer at the hospital, Dr Fredrick Katimbo, said the machine will improve the diagnostic process at the facility by giving more information on patients who were earlier being referred to other hospitals in Coast.
"Doctors will now be able to easily manage patients than before," he said.
"The CAT scan will go a long way in helping locals, who have been suffering," Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja said during the installation this week.
Speaking to Nation at the hospital, patients said the machine had relieved them the high cost they used to incur in Mombasa.
Ms Shali said the installation of the machine would be of help to residents because it will cut down the cost of treatment.
A Voi resident, Ms Catherine Mwanjala said her family was forced to take her grandmother to Coast General Hospital before the purchase of the machine.
"She is still hospitalised in Mombasa. If this machine was installed earlier we could not have incurred the extra costs of transferring her to Coast for treatment," Ms Mwanjala said.
Last year, Makindu hospital served 23 survivors of a crash involving a bus and lorry near Kambu, 25 died.
“The fact that trauma patients are certain they will find a surgeon who is ready to serve them has endeared scores to this hospital,” the county Health Chief Officer Patrick Musyoki. said.
Until the hospital started offering trauma services, accident victims along that section of the highway would be rushed to KNH, he said.
Already, the trauma centre that houses a twin theatre, men, women and children surgical wards and a casualty wing, a theatre, a laboratory and an imaging department has received a shot in the arm from the government.
Two years ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and Governor Kivutha Kibwana commissioned the twin theatre that has a state-of-the-art equipment installed under the Managed Equipment Scheme.