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How Murang’a Government managed to build an ICU in 21 days

When Governor Mwangi wa Iria announced that his administration will build and make operational an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) within 21 days, many of his critics dismissed the idea.
On April 9, construction of a 35-bed capacity ICU facility kicked off at Murang’a Level-5 hospital and on Friday, May 1, the unit was fully completed and ready to admit patients.
The county government opted to use its engineers and mobilized resources that made the construction works fast.
The administration decided not to go for a tedious tendering process and thus tasked engineers employed by the county government to implement the project.
Speaking as he supervised the final installation of equipment at the unit, governor Wa Iria said most government projects delay due to prolonged tendering process and granting works to untrustworthy contractors.
“If we opted to go through the normal tendering process, construction of this facility could take not less than two years and the pricing could be enormous,” said Wa Iria.
The county engineers supervised the construction works on a 24-hour basis to ensure that the building is standard and is completed in the given period.
Materials for construction were sourced locally and members of the community especially those who lost their jobs due to Covid 19 pandemic, were mobilized to provide labour in the construction of the ICU believed to be the biggest yet in Mount Kenya region.
The facility, Wa Iri said will offer needed critical care services at this time the country is faced by the Covid-19 pandemic and even in the post-Coronavirus era.
“This facility will not only serve residents of Murang’a but anyone in need of critical care services across the country. The cost will be minimal considering this is a public facility,” he added.
According to Wa Iria, the ICU facility is a big boost to the government’s agenda to provide universal health care to millions of Kenyans.
“This time the country is facing a threat of Coronavirus; this ICU will play an integral part in the provision of critical care unit. The facility is free to get referrals from other counties,” he further noted.
Medical superintendent of Murang’a Level -5 hospital Dr. Leonard Gikera observed that the hospital has been referring at least two people per week for critical health care in other hospitals especially those in Nairobi.
He noted that the ICU will provide needed services and save the lives of many since there will be no transfers as far as critical services are concerned.
County executive member for infrastructure and transport engineer Amos Njoroge and who was entrusted to deliver the project within 21 days said the quality of the building was not compromised.
“The house was built in required standards. Every precaution was observed to ensure the quality was not compromised despite the short period of constructing the house,” added Njoroge.
Meanwhile, the governor said they have entered into a partnership with Aga khan hospital to help run the ICU at initial days as the hospital management lays down logistics of running the same.
He, however, said the official opening will be delayed in the interest of keeping the Coronavirus prevention protocols. “For now the ICU will be operational but official commissioning will wait till the time the Covid-19 will be contained so that we invite his Excellency the president to officially open the facility,” he added.
By Bernard Munyao

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