National Government lauds Kirinyaga County on Covid 19 preparedness

The National Government Covid-19 technical assistance team has today 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. The County Executive Committee Member for Health, Gladys Kimingi also informed the team that another isolation ward is set to be opened in the upcoming Medical Complex at Kerugoya Hospital whereby it is expected to be operational by mid-October.

Dr. Kamuri noted that there was great need for counties to establish compressive isolation centers that will cater for all the other ailments 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 Covid. In this regard, all other services required in regular health facility must be availed in isolation centers.” He advised. He also 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 in order to see where they can forge partnerships to enhance the capacity of counties to handle the pandemic.

Dr. Johna 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 that there were some donations for PPEs which are also being distributed to counties. Kirinyaga County also benefitted from donations worth about Ksh. 200,000 which included thermo guns, N95 masks and face shields and protective gowns.

Dr. Pacifica Onyancha, the team’s technical adviser and also the Head of Preventive and Promotive Health at the Ministry of Health advised counties to improve existing health facilities to cater for Covid as opposed to using temporary shelters such as stadiums and schools since the facilities will still be used after the pandemic is over. She also 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 Center. In that case, she said, alternative facilities should be identified to offer primary health care for the community whose health center would be turned into a Covid 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. The county government has been urging the residents to strictly adhere to the laid down prevention measures to curb spread. None of the patients has died while 3 have been successfully treated and discharged.

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