Governors under North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) have raised concern over shortage of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and testing kits on Covid- 19.
Led by Uashin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago, who is also NOREB chairman, they said the shortage was hampering efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus in their respective counties.
They urged the national government to ensure that the facilities are readily available, preferably at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA), noting that counties are experiencing shortage and finding it hard whenever they wanted to purchase.
The governors, who included Josphat Nanok (Turkana) and John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot) were speaking at Kapenguria County Referral Hospital Saturday, while on Covid – 19 preparedness assessment visit to the facility,
“Hospitals across the country do not have the capacity to rapidly test coronavirus cases due to severe shortage of Covid-19 testing kits and also PPEs. We want the national government to sort out the issue and ensure their availability,” said Mandago.
He noted that the shortage had contributed to delays in testing and relaying of results and at the same time made it more difficult for doctors to deliver appropriate care to patients who had tested positive for coronavirus.
“NOREB is committed to ensuring all preventive measures against coronavirus were strictly adhered to but what we want is support from the national government by providing the necessary infrastructure and equipment to the county health facilities,”, said the chairman.
“We are ready for mass testing and have money to buy the test kits but they are not available in the market,” lamented Mandago.
He further warned those allegedly hiding the test kits and PPEs waiting for prices to shoot, saying they were punishing Kenyans and taking undue advantage of the pandemic to enrich themselves.
He urged Kenyans to minimize movements and called on those in areas restricted by the government to adhere to ministry of health guidelines so to minimize the spread of covid-19.
“Australia minimized movements and managed to flatten covid-19 curve. The virus is carried by people and without movements it can’t spread. Let’s combine efforts to win the battle,” asserted the Uasin Gishu governor.
He urged counties to intensify check points along their borders, while commending West Pokot county government for erecting road blocks along the high way, saying it is a sign that they are committed to fight the virus.
The NOREB counties comprise of Turkana, West Pokot, Tran Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Baringo, Nandi, Samburu and Elgeyo Marakwet.
By John Saina