Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi Wednesday commissioned a multi-million shilling ultra-modern medical complex to handle, among other ailments, the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Standing within the Kilifi County Referral Hospital is the three-storey building, which is expected to serve, on referral basis, the counties of Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu and Kwale.
It is phase one of the Sh 680 million complex being built by the County Government of Kilifi. The whole project is expected to be ready for use by September this year.
The facility named “The Kilifi County Covid-19 Complex,” has six Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds fully fitted with ventilators to handle any severe case of Covid-19 that may arise.
Kingi also commissioned a doctors’ residence with a capacity of 14 medical officers, who are among frontline soldiers in the war against the pandemic that has overwhelmed many nations of the world.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony at the hospital, the governor said his administration had opted to open the first phase of the project to handle Covid-19 as it awaits the completion of the entire project.
When fully complete, the complex will house a Cancer Centre, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and a High Dependence Unit (HDU) among other specialized units and is expected to have modern radiology equipment such as CT Scans among others.
The governor said first two floors of the complex, which are ready, would be used to admit those who would test positive for Covid-19 alongside the other isolation centres at Mbudzi, Jibana, Gede, Mtwapa and Malindi.
“The pandemic has forced us to use this phase for Covid-19 treatment, but we know that we shall not suffer any loss because the facilities bought for COVID-19 will be used even after the pandemic,” he assured.
He said the idea of opening up the center was to be prepared in case the need arises for patients to be isolated or be placed in ICU.
“We just want to be ready, although my prayer is that this county remains coronavirus free,” Mr Kingi said. The county does not have any Covid-19 patient after all patients that had been admitted at its isolation centre in Jibana recovered and were discharged one week ago.
He however reiterated his earlier call to the county’s residents to be on guard, saying the fact that there were no more confirmed cases did not mean the county was free from the virus.
“The challenge we have is that we do not have enough testing kits to carry out mass testing, which would help us determine whether we are out of the woods or not,” he said.
He expressed concern over the manner in which some residents were still using panya-routes to cross in and out of the county while others still drink palm wine and conduct burial ceremonies without observing the Covid-19 rules.
“It is unfortunate that some residents are not taking the guidelines and protocols seriously, and this is putting the lives of others at risk,” he lamented.
The governor applauded health workers in the county for their selfless attitude toward the fight against the pandemic.
The ceremony was witnessed by among others Malindi Member of Parliament Aisha Jumwa and her Kaloleni counterpart Paul Katana, Kilifi County Commissioner Magu Mutindika and Kilifi County Assembly Majority Leader Adamson Mwathethe among others.
By Emmanuel Masha