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Health systems upgrade boon for Kiambu residents post-Covid

County only had five ICU bed units before the pandemic struck; now they are 32

In Summary

• Work is ongoing to improve the health centres, with Sh185 million allocated for all 11 level 4 facilities.

• They are Tigoni, Wangige, Rukuma, Ruiru, Igegania, Lari, Thogoto, Limuru, Kikuyu, Githunguri and Bibirioni.

Kiambu Governor James Nyoro with a medic in an ambulance recently procured by the county.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro with a medic in an ambulance recently procured by the county.
Image: John Kamau

Kiambu has expanded health centres, installed new equipment, stocked them with essential medicines and residents expect improved services when the Covid-19 pandemic is contained.

Nearly 200 doctors, nurses and clinical officers have been deployed to county health facilities. 

Governor James Nyoro said bed capacity in the hospitals had been raised to 1,000 to tackle the pandemic and bulk oxygen procured for Covid-19 patients.

“Oxygen is the first medicine for severe Covid-19 patients and we have enough of it. Actually, 30 patients in our facilities in Kiambu are on oxygen which we have provided in surplus,” Nyoro said. 

Work is ongoing to improve health centres, with Sh185 million allocated for all 11 level 4 facilities. They are Tigoni, Wangige, Rukuma, Ruiru, Igegania, Lari, Thogoto, Limuru, Kikuyu, Githunguri and Bibirioni.

Nyoro said the rehabilitation of infrastructure and installation of vital amenities will help decongest level five hospitals by increasing options for patients seeking care. 

On Tuesday, the governor said the county had cleared debts it owed to contractors for some of the projects that had stalled. Thogoto, Tigoni, Wangige and Rukuma level 4 hospitals, which were affected, are either completed or nearly done. 

Kiambu has three level 5 facilities in Thika, Kiambu and Gatundu. The county is partnering with Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital to upgrade Gatundu Hospital to level 6. 

“Currently infrastructural developments are being undertaken including expansion of several buildings within the hospital, expansion of the morgue, construction of a modern gate, repainting, construction of a laundry facility and a solar system to light up the hospital,” Nyoro said.

He said the partnership is aimed at improving health service delivery to Gatundu residents and others from Kiambu.

More money has been put aside to upgrade Karatu and Igegania level 4 hospitals after Gatundu is upgraded. Some of the additional resources are from conditional grants and county coffers.

“Igegania Hospital will be upgraded to a level 5 hospitals to improve service delivery to Gatundu North residents,” Nyoro said.

The Gatundu Level Five Hospital is undergoing massive upgrade into a level 6.
The Gatundu Level Five Hospital is undergoing massive upgrade into a level 6.
Image: John Kamau

The county chief said the health department is well prepared to deal with the deadlier third wave of Covid-19. Already, Tigoni Level 5 Hospital has been redesignated to cater for Covid-19 patients.

The facility will save residents the agony of travelling to the Kiambu Level 5 Hospital in search of better medical services when Covid-19 is suppressed.  

 “We are determined to ensure that by the time we recover from Covid, Kiambu will have first-class medical facilities that our people can be proud of,” Nyoro said. 

The governor said that the county this month opened an eight-bed intensive care unit at Kiambu Level Five Hospital. The total number of ICU beds across the county is currently 32.

The county only had five ICU bed units before the pandemic struck.

“To enhance the capacity of the intensive care units, the county has procured more ventilators and monitors,” he said.

The county chief said that his administration is also working round the clock to ensure the 108 health facilities are well-staffed and stocked. Some 195 medics have been hired by the county government. 

 

(edited by o. owino)