Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok on Thursday delivered his seventh State of the County address to the County assembly laying emphasis on his administration’s efforts in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nanok noted that as at Wednesday, 25th November 2020, the total numbers of tests conducted were 6,086 with the number of Covid- 19 cases in Turkana County rising to 744.
Turkana County’s first case was reported on 24th May 2020 in Turkana West’s Kakuma Refugee Camp. Currently there are a total of 720 patients in Quarantine facilities.
“My Administration has committed Sh. 25 million to buy our own PCR machine. This machine will ensure all samples are tested here and results given in record time. The Government has recently procured three new ambulances for Turkana West and Turkana Central for referrals and to ease transport of Covid-19 samples,” Nanok said.
He said that in collaboration with the national government, his administration has hired and deployed 387 staff to offer critical and essential services in healthcare facilities.
To strengthen detection and management of patients, Nanok said the Ministry of Health had deployed existing health workers, intensified screening, triaging and testing, enforcement of Covid-19 prevention directives for patients visiting health facilities and ensuring uninterrupted supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for health workers.
Further, he said clinicians have been trained on Covid-19. At the same time, he cited the improvement of Lodwar County Referral Hospital including 3-bed capacity each for Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Unit with 7 ventilators.
At the same time, Nanok said the fire engine had arrived in the County after a protracted wait marred with controversy.
“It was my honor and pleasure to unveil this important machine last Friday for immediate use by the Lodwar Municipality residents,” he said.
He added, “the supplier for the County government’s maiden fully loaded fire engine procured at Sh.53 million delivered the equipment to Lodwar last week.”
According to him, with the support of the World Bank through Kenya Urban Support Programme, the County government is constructing a fire station on a 10-acre land, near Turkana University College at a cost of Sh.52 million.
This station will be the headquarters of the County Fire Department. The same programme provides for solar lights for Ekales Road at Sh.33 million.
With regards to land issues, he said his administration is engaging Ministry of Lands and physical planning to support in land adjudication process and subsequently the issuance of title deeds. This process will start with Lodwar Municipality and thereafter expand to other planned centres.
By Peter Gitonga