Covid-19: Nakuru County gets 20 ventilators

Thursday May 14 2020
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The new equipment will be stationed Nakuru Level Five Hospital. PHOTO | FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC MATARA

The Nakuru County Government has acquired 20 respiratory ventilators and 9 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds to aid in the management of Covid-19 cases in the region.

The move is part of the county’s effort to equip hospitals to effectively handle virus cases.

The equipment, valued at more than Sh20 million, will be stationed at the county's main Covid-19 isolation facility at Nakuru Level Five Hospital.

According to the County Executive in charge of Health, Dr Gichuki Kariuki, the equipment were purchased via the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) to aid in combating the pandemic.

"We have made the purchase at a very crucial time when we are making very strategic steps at not just working on prevention but preparing for any eventuality...We want to avoid overstretching of health facilities ,” he said.

It also adds to the seven ICU beds and 19 ventilators that Nakuru already had.

Nakuru County has so far recorded 3 coronavirus cases out of which 2 recovered and were discharged while one case is under management at Nakuru Level Five Hospital.

The amount used in purchasing of the equipment is part of a Sh478 million supplementary budget that the County Assembly approved last month to combat the pandemic.

The Executive had earlier proposed to set aside Sh250 million to deal with Covid-19 but the Assembly approved a Sh478 million budget.

The Assembly reallocated resources within the current budget by cutting on non-essential expenditure and freezing a sizeable number of ongoing development projects.

At least Sh30 million out of the amount was set aside to purchase ventilators and beds to be stationed at Nakuru Level Five Hospital.

Sh205 million will be used to purchase food for vulnerable families in all the 55 Wards.

Another Sh45 million was set aside to be shared among the most vulnerable families in 30 Wards including jobless flower farm workers and slum dwellers.

Sh30 million was retained as a governor's kitty to purchase food rations and an additional Sh20 million set aside for the county emergency fund.

The Health department was given the greenlight to use Sh150 million to buy non-pharmaceutical items, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and drugs.

Part of the cash was also allocated for recruitment of 210 health workers including 150 nurses, 30 clinical officers, 20 public health officers and 10 medical officers on a three-month contract.

The purchase of the ventilators comes at a time when the Ministry of Health has allowed Nakuru to begin conducting Covid-19 tests at Naivasha and Nakuru Level Five hospitals.

Those to be tested include long-distance truck drivers plying the Nairobi-Nakuru-Eldoret-Malaba highway.

Dr Kariuki further revealed that Nakuru has a total of 15 people in quarantine facilities with six at Naivasha Girls Centre and the rest at the Kenya Industrial Training Institute (KITI).

Governor Lee Kinyanjui has previously warned that if Kenyans continue disregarding MoH advice, the Covid-19 pandemic will last up to two years in the country.