H.E Hon Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Defence Forces on 7th April 2022, inaugurated Level IV Isiolo Regional Hospital (IRH) in Isiolo and commissioned the Aviation Centre of Excellence at Laikipia Air Base in Laikipia County.
At Isiolo Barracks, the President inspected a Guard of Honour mounted by 7 Kenya Rifles and, unveiled the inauguration plaque at IRH to symbolise the opening of the hospital.
The C-in-C was then led on a tour of the facility that has a 105 bed-capacity for patients.
In his speech, President noted that the inauguration of the Level IV Isiolo Regional Hospital is another bold step in the transformative journey his Government has undertaken over the past nine years.
The C-in-C added that over the nine years, the government has undertaken modernization of institutions of State and Security Organs to an extent that is unparalleled in Kenya’s history.
“At the centre of the reforms we instituted, has been our efforts to elevate the welfare of our personnel especially in terms of healthcare. We have done this recognizing that the health of a security system is only as good as the health of its officers,” said the President.
“The facility before us will provide Level 4 specialized services including surgical, internal medicine, obstetric/gynecological services, pediatric services and critical care to service members and their families within this region,” the President said.
President Uhuru further added that the healthcare reforms for the disciplined forces were in tandem with his Administration’s Big Four Agenda on the Universal Health Coverage (UHC); which has concurrently witnessed improvements in the facilities and services offered to the civilian population.
“A grateful nation bows in supplication for your unflinching service, duty, and honour to your country and to our flag. May this facility be a symbol of strength and endurance, and, indeed, of the sacrifices made by so many for the country they so deeply cherish,” concluded the C-in-C.
Speaking during the ocassion, Cabinet Secretary for Defence Hon. Eugene Wamalwa said IRH will contribute immensley to healthcare access, not only to the military but also, to the retired military personnel and their families through the Defence Forces Medical Insurance Scheme.
“IRH has been staffed with highly skilled staff and furnished with state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosis and treatment that has no match in the region,” said the CS.
Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF) General Robert Kibochi thanked the President for the Government’s continued investment in the military saying KDF’s operational capabilities had improved significantly in recent years.
General Kibochi noted that the inauguration of the facility is a great milestone to the KDF fraternity’ welfare since the facilities are very crucial in providing medical support to both KDF and their dependants, thus reducing the time taken and resources used to travel to Nairobi, as was the case previously.
“We in KDF will continue to give back by being mission ready to serve in whatever capacity we are called upon. IRH is a morale booster to our troops who will now focus on the mission and not think of families who are left behind,” said the CDF.
At Laikipia Air Base, the C-in-C presided over the commissioning of the Aviation Centre of Excellence (ACE).
The Aviation facility will be charged with the responsibility of training pilots for the the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and allied security agencies
President Uhuru Kenyatta was briefed on the background of the centre, aircraft to be used in the training, infrastructure and the training phases students will undergo before they graduate as pilots.
The President was then taken through a tour of the facility before unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening of ACE.
In his speech the President said the occasion presented a remarkable progress the country had made towards improving its military capabilities as well as mission readiness.”
“This academy shows that our focus is not only on hardware alone. Any modern and progressive military must also lay on quality training which is a critical force multiplier for mission attainment,” noted the President.
He added that the acquisition of modern training aircraft and establishment of ACE will result in KDF and other government agencies having a pool of skilled professionals capable of undertaking a multiplicity of aviation operations.
Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa thanked the Grob Company for setting up mutual training environment with KDF saying the friendship and trust will synergize the Centre to undertake great tasks likened to the principle of economy of effort. “I must say working with our partners we are bound to make significant strides in the aviation industry ” the CS added
The CDF thanked the C-in-C for his efforts to modernize the KDF in all dimensions. “In the training dimension as General Rommel stated, the best form of welfare the Commander can give is first class training and what will happen here is first class training that is going to be of the highest international standards,” he said.