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As a Medicine student in the University of Nairobi, Dr Abdi Mohamed mind was obsessed with the vision of starting a private hospital to offer affordable healthcare, but little did he know that his vision would produce fruits sooner that he expected.
Now, barely three years after graduation, the 30-year-old doctor, is running Ladnan Hospital, a 50-bed modern facility in Nairobi’s Pangani area, thanks to unflinching dedication and determination to realise his dream.
The name “Ladnan” means “well-being” in Somali language.The facility, which offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services including surgery and maternity, opened its doors in late November 2011.
Dr Abdi’s venture begun when most of his former classmates in medical school either went back to school for further studies, or sought to further their careers as employees of private or public hospitals, or running their own small clinics.
“The dream for the hospital was very strong and persistent in my heart. After serving in Malindi District Hospital for one year on my internship and one year as a doctor, I decided to quit and dedicate my efforts to establishing it. I didn’t want to wait for too long,” he says.
During his two-year stint in Malindi, Dr Abdi recalls the constant frustration of doctors, like himself of having to work to save many lives without crucial equipment and drugs and working long hours and poor remuneration. This further toughened up his resolve.
After his exit, Dr Abdi consulted with several of his former classmates on Medical School who gave the idea big thumbs up. He went ahead and put together the idea, refining it and made a pitch to several investors to convince them to put in their money in the project.
“Initially, the investors didn’t take me that seriously. I guess they thought I was too young to execute the big project,” he recalls chuckling, “but eventually I managed to convince a good number of them since they saw the validity of the proposition.”
After almost a year of hard work, Ladnan Hospital finally started operations and since then, the number of patients has steadily risen.
The hospital has a maternity wing, two operating theaters, and general wards as well as a 24hr outpatient service. Moreover it has laboratory, pharmacy and radiology unit with x-ray and ultrasound service.
The theaters are equipped to carry out general surgeries, Obstetric/ Gynecological, Orthopedic and Neurosurgery.
Ladnan Hospital has four general doctors, ten resident nurses and a large number of consultants who are engaged as need arises including gynecologists, surgeons, physicians, pediatricians.
Dr Abdi explains that the health care scene in Nairobi is a choice between the private hospitals which charge premium rates unaffordable to most Kenyans and government hospitals whose services are below expectations of many.
“They are so many people who are willing to pay a little extra than what they pay in government facilities to get better services. But the same people cannot afford the fees of many private hospitals. I saw a gap for moderately priced hospitals that has not been effectively met so far,” he explains
Dr Abdi didn’t choose the location of the hospital arbitrarily. He is targeting the larger Eastlands area, which he says is among the highest number of middle-income families in the city who need the services he offers.
The area, which includes, Doonholm, Kayole, Eastleigh, Buruburu Komarock, Embakasi depend mostly on Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Kayole, Pumwani Maternity Hospital and a host of clinics.
“Eastlands people who are tired of poor services at government hospitals have very few options. They have to go to other parts of the city to get a good private hospital that charge moderate fees,” he says.
He requests the government to accelerate universal health insurance cover for Kenyans saying health care is a big burden on many families, often leading to bankruptcies.