NMS to set up two ICUs for critically ill Covid-19 patients in the city

Sunday July 05 2020

Doctors ate the infectious diseases unit of Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi where NMS Director of Health Services Josephine Kibaru Mbae said 10 Covid-19 ICU beds will be set up. Another 10 will set up at Mama Lucy Hospital. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has begun the process of setting up 28-bed intensive care units (ICUs) at two of the city county’s hospitals.

These units will cater for critically ill Covid-19 patients even as Kenya stares at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

This comes at a time when top hospitals are running out of space in ICUs as the health facilities are fast getting overwhelmed with the numbers of seriously-ill patients needing admission.

NMS Director of Health Services Josephine Kibaru Mbae said 18 Covid-19 ICU beds will be set up at Mama Lucy Hospital with another 10 at Mbagathi Hospital as Kenya’s cases inch closer to the 8,000 mark.


With the peak of the disease estimated to come next month and the number of Covid-19 cases continuing to rise significantly, Dr Mbae said NMS is running against time to come up with about 900-bed Isolation centres for Covid-19 patients.


Some of the isolation beds include the 190 beds at Lady Griffin at Kenya Medical Training College, 90 at Pumwani's Nursing and Training College and 50 at Bahati Health Centre.

There is also 66-bed capacity new maternity wing at Mama Lucy Hospital and South B Level Three Hospital as well as 78 more at Mbagathi Hospital.


Last month, the new office said it was coming up with a 400-bed temporary Covid-19 isolation centre at Mbagathi Hospital to cater for asymptomatic patients.

Nairobi County, with 3,760 out of the 7,577 countrywide cases as of July 4, 2020, has been the worst hit by Covid-19, which has left at least 159 people dead.

As a response, the Health Services director said NMS has put in place a robust incidence management system (IMS), addressing case management, surveillance, contact tracing, risk-communication and referral system with four new ambulances procured and 12 being rehabilitated to improve the referral system.

Dr Mbae further said that NMS has set up an application to enable contact tracing of Covid-19 positive cases as well as put in place a 24/7 call centre where the public can contact a health worker on Covid-19 issues as well as other heath emergencies through a toll free line.

“NMS has established an emergency operation centre with a dedicated line 1179 which is linked with the national 719 number and a dedicated email address – [email protected],” she said.


At the same time, NMS is set to put up 24 fully-equipped level two and three health facilities in city slums to improve service delivery. These will provide services for free. Most health facilities in the capital overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases.

Sh300 million will be spent by the new office in the current financial year to rehabilitate health facilities across the 17 sub-counties of Nairobi.

Dr Mbae said NMS has signed an MoU with the Ministry of Health to enable Nairobi access the Universal Health Care (UHC) funds. This will enable NMS to train more community volunteers and open up more community units to improve health promotion services and primary health services at community level.

“All level two and three health facilities will be able to access drugs under this programme,” she said.