Jua Kali Artisan's Hospital Beds Cause a Stir [VIDEO]

  • One of the hospital beds built by Meshack Otieno, a Jua Kali artisan based in Juja, Kiambu
    One of the hospital beds built by Meshack Otieno, a Jua Kali artisan based in Juja, Kiambu
    Twitter
  • The Jua Kali sector in Kenya continues to make headlines during Covid-19 thanks to the innovative work of various artisans, with affordable, durable hospital beds becoming the latest addition.

    Images and videos of the high-quality hospital beds went viral on Saturday, July 11 sparking calls from a section of Kenyans for relevant government agencies to support the artisans.

    Kenyans.co.ke on Sunday, July 12, caught up with the artisan behind the viral hospital beds, Meshack Otieno, who revealed his surprise at the overwhelming response his beds had received.

    The artisan based in Juja, Kiambu County explained that he had primarily been making metallic gates, window grills and doors before a client from Murang'a County approached him with a photo of a hospital bed.

    One of the hospital beds built by Meshack Otieno, a Jua Kali artisan based in Juja, Kiambu
    One of the hospital beds built by Meshack Otieno, a Jua Kali artisan based in Juja, Kiambu
    Twitter

    He noted that the client had previously been impressed by his work, and trusted him to make a hospital bed meeting various specifications.

    "I had previously made some things for him and he liked them, so he asked me to make the hospital bed and the table bed.

    "He said he wanted to avoid importing the beds which is why he approached me. After I made the sample we delivered about 20 such beds," he noted.

    Otieno revealed that the sample he made for the client caught the attention of several other customers even before social media led to an explosion in the interest.

    "The sample remained at the workshop, and it was getting damaged because of the conditions but people saw it and I started getting some other orders, including from people with elderly parents who need care at home in places including Siaya and Bomet.

    "So we kept doing that but it was after one of our friends Steven Odhiambo posted the images online that the interest really grew and a lot of people started reaching out to enquire about the beds," he stated.

    The hospital beds made by Otieno include reclining features, designed to be easily adjustable to provide comfort for their users.

    He argued that his hospital beds were more durable than many imported hospital beds he had previously repaired.

    "You know, I've been called to places to do repair jobs on various imported hospital beds and I can say for sure that ours is more durable.

    "It is made from metal, you can adjust various parts and this is designed with the body in mind, and we also have the table bed," he noted.

    Watch a video of the beds below: