- Our investigations during a spot check on the facilities revealed that all the 10 ICU beds were still operational.
- Nandi has also put into full use the equipment supplied by the national government under the Managed Equipment Service Programme.
The popular narrative that emergency expenditure on Covid-19 only served to open opportunities for rural elite and government officials to make money corruptly only tells one side of the story.
In Nandi county, the most consequential and lasting result of the emergency expenditure during the pandemic is the improved quality and quantity of essential and critical medical infrastructure now available within hospitals in the county.
Nandi received about Sh200 million in Covid-19 funds from the National government and other development partners, with a good part of the money being spent on the procurement of 10 ICU beds.
Seven beds were given to the largest hospital facility within the county, the Kapsabet County referral hospital and the remaining three were installed at the Nandi Hills subcounty hospital.
Our investigations during a spot check on the facilities revealed that all the 10 ICU beds were still operational.
The ICU beds and other facilities procured during the pandemic period also improved the capacity of hospitals and staff to handle complex surgeries.
The empowerment of the ICU unit, sufficient oxygen and doctors on call for instance made it possible for the first successful brain surgery to be done at the County Referral Hospital this month.
Recently Dr Ismael Ayabei, Kapsabet medical superintendent led a team in conducting a three-hour emergency surgery on Charles Mwandi, 67.
In an interview with KNA, Dr Ayabei said: “Kapsabet Hospital is now able to handle critical cases because of improved medical facilities.”
He said the emergency spending on Covid-19 also allowed the county administration to hire more medical personnel among them nurses, specialists and clinical officers.
As a result, the referral cases to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, some 50 km away have reduced by more than 80 per cent, while kidney patients no longer need to travel long distances for dialysis as the services are available at Kapsabet Hospital.
Nancy Chebet, a former frontline medic disclosed that more than 1,300 healthcare providers who were recruited and trained during Covid-19 have given a boost to the lean staff.
According to Chebet, the county administration ensured in every sub-county, one hospital was identified and modern and latest equipment’s installed to offer effective and quality primary healthcare to residents.
During the pandemic, Chebet said Kemsa dispatched 104 consignments of masks; 1,000 non-woven masks, 1,585 face shields,750 surgical gowns, 240 KN95 and 2 ventilators to the county to fight the pandemic.
Among the 130 health facilities in the county including private hospitals, four subcounty hospitals acted as isolation centres. These include Nandi Hills, Mosoriot, Kobujoi and Meteitei where 312 units were created to serve Covid patients.
Besides the increase in the number of beds and personnel at various hospitals, 10 ambulances were also unveiled to help out during the pandemic.
Mathew Kipkoech, a resident of Kapsabet town stated that initially the County Referral used to offer poor services, lacked medicine, and even could go without water for a day, but things started to fall into place during the Coronavirus era.
“We used to be scared of going to Kapsabet Hospital, but today, even the outlook of the hospital makes patients have hope. It was a dirty place full of all kinds of dirt, but now the county has rehabilitated wards that made the hospital environment clean,” he said.
The modernisation of the hospital, which a few years ago appeared to be an abandoned facility has paid off.
Kipkoech can now smile going to the facility because he can wash his hands at various water points and get better services. The medical personnel are also friendly and ready to serve.
At the Mosoriot Subcounty Hospital in Chesumei, plans are underway to expand and upgrade the facility to a Level Four Hospital.
The medical facility serves a huge population as it is strategically located at the centre of many learning institutions among them Mosoriot TTC, Mosoriot KMTC and Koitalel Samoei University.
Nandi has also put into full use the equipment supplied by the national government under the Managed Equipment Service Programme.
The modern equipment includes digital scanners, X-ray machines and dialysis machines among others installed at the Kapsabet Hospital.
While on a visit to Kabiyet Subcounty Hospital in Mosop, one will notice a newly commissioned modern maternity wing which houses both antenatal and prenatal clinics.
The new unit consists of a spacious labour ward and a baby unit to handle pre-mature births and birth-related complications.
They are fully equipped with modern facilities such as incubators, defibrillators, respirators, resuscitators and baby cots for the safety for the safety of mothers and their infants.
According to the special audit report of the Auditor General on the Covid-19 vaccine rollout as of March 31, 2022, Nandi County received its first consignment of 6,600 doses of Astra Zeneca.
The county subsequently received more vaccine doses of Moderna (27,476) doses, Johnson &Johnson (96,900), Pfizer (25,740) and more Oxford/ AstraZeneca (135,349) doses all totalling to 285, 465 doses
The doses were first administered at Emgwen and Tinderet subcounties, before being rolled out to the other subcounty stores and administering facilities.
Construction works are ongoing at Meteitei Subcounty Hospital in Tinderet subcounty, which is also being upgraded to a Level Four.
The maternity wing is in its final stages and once complete it will address the critical problem of long waiting hours and delayed surgeries.
The pandemic also led to the establishment of a Sh500 million Mother and Baby facility with a 350-bed capacity, which is the largest of its kind built by the county in Kapsabet Town and is at 95 per cent completion.
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang noted that affordable healthcare accessibility is the county’s foremost commitment and his administration is devoted to strengthening the sector through enhanced infrastructure and workforce.
Speaking in Nandi Hills Subcounty Hospital during the launch of the second oxygen plant, Sang said the hospital will now have a reliable and constant supply of medical oxygen, which will ensure that critically ill patients receive timely and appropriate medical attention.
“This is part of our larger plan to strengthen the healthcare system in Nandi County and provide affordable and accessible healthcare services to all our citizens," he said.
"We believe with a healthy population, other development programmes will run smoothly and people will be able to easily overcome diseases and poverty which are key challenges."