COVID-19 RESPONSE

Kitui to have five-bed ICU facility next month

County is among those that do not have any such unit

In Summary
  • Muthoka said the fully equipped ICU will be supplemented by a similar facility with two beds at Mwingi Level 4 Hospital.
  • At present, Kitui has one Covid-19 isolation and treatment centre with 30 beds.
Kitui Health chief officer Dr Richard Muthoka.
WELL PREPARED: Kitui Health chief officer Dr Richard Muthoka.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

Kitui will have a five-bed intensive care unit at the county referral hospital by the end of July, Health chief officer Richard Muthoka said on Wednesday.

Muthoka said the fully-equipped ICU will be supplemented by a similar facility with two beds at Mwingi Level 4 Hospital that is about 70km from Kitui town.

Fielding questions on the county’s preparedness to handle an upsurge of coronavirus, the county health boss said plans for the ICU were on course.

“We have decided to have the facility at the Kitui Referral Hospital because that is where we have a number of medical specialists we can bank on,” Muthoka said. 

Kitui has been rated among counties that are ill-prepared to deal with an exponential upsurge of Covid-19. It has no ICU to handle the critically ill.

The county has one Covid-19 isolation and treatment centre at Kauwi with 30 beds.

Muthoka said given the high number of health facilities in Kitui, the county had the 300-bed capacity to handle Covid-19 patients as President Uhuru Kenyatta directed last weekend.

He disclosed that the Mwingi health worker who was on Monday found to have contracted Covid-19 was from the KMTC quarantine centre in Kitui town.

“She was put in quarantine as a principal contact of the Mwingi Hospital nurse who earlier tested positive after returning from a trip in Mombasa over a month ago. We held her until the test results for her samples were out last Monday,” he said.

The health worker was immediately transported to Kenyatta National Hospital where she is receiving treatment in isolation.

“All persons so far found positive of Covid-19 in Kitui have been taken to Nairobi for treatment. We are neither isolating nor treating any Covid-19 patient in Kitui,” he said.

Edited by Henry Makori