The Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Medicine is located within the second floor of the Old Hospital of the Kenyatta National Hospital. The department was established in 1974/1975 and admitted the first batch of postgraduate students in 1977. These five pioneer students have excelled in the field of diagnostic imaging and are key leaders in both public and private radiology practice. Since inception the postgraduate programme has successfully trained 188 specialist radiologists for Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. In 2012, the Department rolled out a higher diploma training program for ultrasound specialist training targeted to both medical and paramedical cadres. This was necessitated by the need to improve ultrasound practice in the country. To date the department has trained 35 ultrasound specialists who are running ultrasound specialist clinics in the periurban and rural areas thereby increasing the availability of ultrasound imaging.
In 2019 the Department begun the first training programme for Radiation Oncologists in the region with an inaugural class of 8 residents. This new programme requires acquisition of new faculty and expansion of the Staff establishment. The programme has continued to expand and to date has 20 residents in training.
Besides the teaching programmes, the Department runs an income generating unit which offers diagnostic imaging services in radiography and ultrasound. Imaging facilities in the teaching hospital include a state of art 3T MRI, digital mammography with tomosynthesis, digital radiography, 128-slice and 64-slice CT scanners, 9 ultrasound machines in main radiology (4) and one each in labour ward, gynecological clinic, newborn, intensive care and renal units and a dual head SPECT scanner.
There have been continued research activities in basic applied sciences of medical imaging and especially in the areas of physics of imaging, ultrasound, computerized tomography, conventional radiography, magnetic resonance imaging and radionuclide imaging.
The department has had the following chairmen who have contributed immensely to its current status as the leading radiology training centre in the region. They are:
Dr. Collins Lewis (1974-1978) - Dr. Lewis presided over the establishment of the department and the commencement of the M.Med (radiology) programme in 1977.
Prof. R.L. Whittaker (1979-1981)
Dr. Ramesh Raja (1982-1983)
Prof. Joseph M. Kitonyi (1984-1990; 2001-2002)
Dr. Mundia Wachira (1990-1995)
Dr. Milcah N. Wambugu (1995-2001; 2002-2005)
Dr. Angeline A. Aywak (2006-2015)
Dr. Gladys N. Mwango (2016-2020)
Dr. Callen Kwamboka Onyambu (2021-to date)