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Longisa Referral Hospital self-sufficient in oxygen supply

When major private and public hospitals in the country, including Kenyatta Referral Hospital are grappling with shortage of oxygen supply during the third spike of Covid-19 in the Country, Longisa County Referral Hospital in Bomet County produces more than it needs.

According to the Head, Bio-Medical Engineer at the Hospital, Mr. Bernard Bii, and the facility is capable of producing 8,000 litres of Oxygen in one hour, which is thrice more than the average consumption rate at the facility.

“Our compressors are capable of producing an average quantity of 8,000 litres per hour, when our average demand rate is below that, the machines rests after five minutes,” explained Mr Bii.

The ingenuity System behind the 8,000 litres of Oxygen production per hour at the Longisa Referral Hospital in Bomet County. Photo by Lamech Arisa

A spot check by KNA at the facility established that the process of producing oxygen at the hospital was initiated by the first County Government in the year 2013, but the initial plant was not capable of generating a large amount and surplus Oxygen.

During the 2019/2020 financial year, the current County administration procured a new advanced compressor that changed the rate of oxygen production at the facility.

“We have been producing Oxygen within this facility since the year 2015, however, the rate then was not the same as now. We advanced with the production after the County procured another more superior compressor,” said Mr Bii.

“The rate of the startup is higher than the rate of consumption in our different Departments which include our HDU, ICU, theatre, wards, baby nurseries and the pediatrics wards. Our main Isolation Centre in Konoin Sub-county also has been working perfectly without any hiccups because such Covid-19 facilities need oxygen supply every time,” added Bii.

He also clarified that the facility has been able to supply the much-needed gas to all health centres within the County without straining.

Other health facilities within the South Rift have also been getting oxygen supply from Longisa Referral Hospital, which include Kaplong Mission Hospital and Siloam in Kericho County.

“We also assist any hospital that comes for the same from here, perhaps we have Kaplong and Siloam private facilities from the region who come for the gas three times a week, and we do not charge any external facility who seek the gas from here,” explained the Chief Biomedical Engineer.

He also affirmed that with the strategic position of the Hospital along the Kisii-Bomet-Nairobi Highway, they also fill empty oxygen cylinders for ambulances on move at the same time they provide the same to the needy members of the public who come to fetch the gas.

The Hospital also received eight new dialysis machines, making the total number 23, including the ones they had received initially from the National Government.

KNA established that the facility has turned out to be one of the best equipped State-of Art health facility in the entire South Rift and in recent times the Hospital has been receiving an influx of patients from other Counties.

By Lamech Arisa

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