Kirinyaga County government has commissioned a modern kitchen, a laundry unit and an incinerator to increase efficiency and to enhance the hygienic standards at Kerugoya Referral Hospital.
The infrastructural development at the hospital is part of the health sector reforms that the county government is undertaking to enhance healthcare service delivery in the county.
The projects will also go a long way in enhancing cleanliness at the facility which is one of the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The modern kitchen is part of a new building that also hosts a laundry unit. Norman Njeru, the Hospital Manager says the kitchen will enhance the capacity to cater for the growing needs of patients at the hospital.
He said the new kitchen could handle food for around 400 people at one given time though the hospital currently cooks for around 200 patients daily.
The manager said that before the completion of the new kitchen, the hospital was using a makeshift kitchen since the one that existed before was demolished to give way to the new hospital complex coming up at the facility.
Njeru said that the new kitchen has more space in the cooking island, stores, a bigger cold-room, stand-alone washing sinks, two boilers (electric and gas) a fan, four hot plate cooker with an oven, four gas cookers and a stock pot stove that is gas-powered.
“There is also a fridge parking, a bulk store and a daily ration store, a vegetable processor and universal mixer as well as a hooded dishwasher. The serving area is big and fully separated from the cooking area,” the manager said.
“Unlike in the previous kitchen set-up, the semi mechanization in the new kitchen will increase output while safety in the kitchen has been increased by the plan of the building and also the installation of fire extinguishers,” he added.
He said the laundry unit has immensely contributed to high hygienic standards at the hospital since it is fitted with modern washing machines and dryers which ensures that patients use clean linen at all times.
The newly installed modern incinerator will enhance the hospital’s hazardous waste management and go a long way in reduction of environmental pollution.
The Hospital Manager said that the incinerator would be used for disposal of hazardous and medical infectious waste from the hospital phasing out the old methods of disposing such wastes.
The incinerator’s capacity is adequate to cater for all the waste generated at the hospital and will still accommodate more as the hospital expands to attain Level Five status.
“With the incinerator, we won’t have harmful fumes being emitted into the environment since all the fumes will be treated in the incinerator chambers,” said Njeru, noting that an incinerator also ensures that pathogens and toxins from hazardous wastes were destroyed.
He said the incinerator machine was able to handle 50 kilogrames of waste per hour and has a burning temperature of 1200 degrees Celsius.
The incinerator comes at a time when Covid-19 cases in the country continue to rise and hence, the county can adequately dispose of any corona virus related medical wastes such as needles, swabs and PPEs among others.
By Irungu Mwangi