Cancer patients at the Kenyatta National Referral Hospital will not have to lie on the corridors as they wait for tests, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, once the construction of a three-storey hostel is completed.
The 80-bed hostel will have a place for the patients to rest as well as a cancer information centre. The national referral hospital starts 3,000 new patients on treatment each year.
Given that it is an outpatient service, patients referred from other counties such as Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Malindi or Machakos have no option but to sleep in the corridors, so that they can make it to the treatment queue early enough, because treatment is offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
Some have to make do with no accommodation for weeks or even months.
The Sh200 million hostel built with support from the American Cancer Society, will offer a place for these patients to lay their heads as they wait for treatment.
It will offer accommodation to more than 200 patients at a cost of Sh500 a night.
"Hotels next to the hospital are expensive, so most patients who come for treatment sessions, spending at least a week in Nairobi, end up putting up on the corridors. The high number of patients and the congested corridors informed the idea for the project," said KNH acting Chief Executive Thomas Mutie.
He added that the money charged would be for the maintenance of the hostel.
"Cancer patients require six cycles of treatment which can be completed in 10 days. The hostel will offer them a dignified place to stay while they seek treatment," said Dr Mutie.
Apart from accommodation, patients, many of whom seek treatment at the public hospital because the cost is subsidised, also face challenges with transport costs.