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County government installs Gene Xpert at Lokitaung hospital

Residents of Turkana North have a reason to smile after the County government installed a Gene Xpert machine in the area’s sub county hospital.

The machine which was donated by USAID through Ampath Kenya was installed at the Lokitaung sub County Hospital.

County executive committee member for health Jane Ajele said a second one will be installed in Turkana East at the Lokori Hospital over the weekend.

Ms Ajele said that a joint team drawn from the County’s’ medical engineering unit, medical laboratory and Ampath Laboratories has been working together since the beginning of the week to fast track the process of utilising the machines for the intended purpose.

“The machines whose functionality extends beyond TB diagnosis to allow for HIV testing of infants, viral load and Covid-19 testing will be stocked with all the appropriate reagents and cartridges for a richer Laboratory experience for clients,” said Ajele.

The CEC said that the exorbitant costs and long wait for sample processing in the respective areas will be permanently solved once the installation and mandatory operation trials are completed in the due course.

County Medical Laboratory Coordinator James Maragia said that the installation process was guided by standard operating procedures to ensure internet connectivity and cartridge supply are factored into the final functionality outcome.

Maragia revisited the position that the County had sufficiently attained the status required to run an independent Technical Working Group meeting for Gene Xpert which he promised will be implemented as provided.

By Peter Gitonga

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