The National Government Covid-19 technical assistance team has lauded Kirinyaga County’s efforts towards preparedness for Covid-19.
During a tour to various isolation centers around the county, the team led by Dr. Evanson Kamuri, CEO Kenyatta National Hospital observed that the county has already set up around 200 beds in the various facilities identified as isolation centers.
The county government has set up isolation centers in Kerugoya Level Four Hospital, Kimbimbi Health Center, Baricho Health Center, Kianyaga Health Center and Sagana Sub-County Hospital.
County Executive Committee Member for Health, Gladys Kimingi informed the team that another isolation ward is set to be opened in the upcoming Medical Complex at Kerugoya Hospital and is expected to be operational by mid-October.
Dr. Kamuri noted that there was great need for counties to establish comprehensive isolation centers that will cater for all the other services that Covid-19 patients could require.
“We have Covid-19 patients in need of surgical services, dialysis services, maternity services yet we cannot take them to the facilities serving other patients who do not have the virus. In this regard, all other services required in health facilities must be availed in isolation centers,” he advised.
He said that the technical team was on a mission to establish what the counties had done on Covid-19 preparedness and also the challenges they were facing, and where support was needed to competently handle the pandemic.
Dr. John Mwangi, Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) CEO assured counties that there were enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in the country for use by healthcare workers. At the same time, he said there were some donations for PPEs which are also being distributed to counties.
Kirinyaga County also benefitted from the donations worth about Sh 200,000 which included thermo guns, N95 masks and face shields and protective gowns.
Dr. Pacifica Onyancha, the team’s technical adviser and also Head of Preventive and Promotive Health at the Ministry of Health advised counties to improve existing health facilities to cater for Covid-19 as opposed to using temporary shelters such as stadia and schools which will soon be required for their original purposes adding that improving existing health facilities will ensure continued improved health services even after the pandemic. She advised that all isolation centers be guarded by security personnel around the clock.
Also in the delegation was Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa who urged the county governments to mobilize resources through multi agency response teams in order to enhance the capacity to manage the pandemic.
The technical team observed that with the rising cases of corona virus infections, counties should now consider turning one Health Center into an entire Covid-19 isolation Center.
Kirinyaga County registered its first positive case of corona virus after inter county borders were opened with cases rising to 27 within a month. None of the patients has died while three have fully recovered and discharged.
By Irungu Mwangi