Double whammy: Naivasha battles both flu and Covid-19

Unusually strong flu outbreak; many cases resistant to treatment, turn into Covid-19

In Summary

• Cases of Covid-19 and flu - both coronaviruses - on the rise in Nakuru county

•  Health facilities overstretched.

Nakuru county assembly health committee tours Naivasha subcounty hospital.
OVERSTRETCHED: Nakuru county assembly health committee tours Naivasha subcounty hospital.

While Naivasha has been battling Covid-19, it now has a another challenge: the flu.

Medics at Naivasha Subcounty Hospital say there has been an outbreak of flu, another respiratory coronavirus, in Naivasha and its suburbs over three months.

The flu, too, can be dangerous and a vaccine is available each year. Flu and Covid-19 are a double-whammy.

Already, the 17-bed isolation were filled with Covid-19 patients in need of ICU services and oxygen. The hospital was forced to transfer them to other hospitals in Nakuru.

Hospital superintendent Dr Angeline Ithondeka admitted that they were overwhelmed by increasing cases of flu and Covid-19.

She said that the majority of the patients were in dire need of ICU, HDU or oxygen services.

“Currently our services are overstretched due to the rising number of patients suffering from severe or moderate flus with many of them are  turning positive for Covid-19,” Ithondeka said.

She said between January and May every year, flu cases increase.

“This year is different, however, as the flu is resistant to normal treatment and many patients are ending up in the isolation wards for Covid-19 treatment,”Ithondeka said.

She said the Sh300 million outpatient department being constructed by Kengen will help ease the congestion crisis.

“The county government and Kengen have addressed the issue of infrastructure development and the challenge will be in getting the necessary equipment and personnel,” she said.

At the same time, the hospital has increased its revenue collection from Sh25m to Sh75 million quarterly, board chairman Dr Simon Kanyingi said.

He said by June, the new state-of-the-art  OPD, ICU and HDU, a new morgue and chapel would be complete.

“This will be the highest level of development at the hospital since 1963 and it will finally be a modern hospital with services becoming seamless and convenient,” Kanyingi said.

He said the eye clinic, orthopaedics and psychiatric departments were the new additions serving hundreds of patients daily.

The aim is to make the hospital a one-stop- shop for all health needs and we are pushing to have enough Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines to address the gaps in supply,” the board chairman said.

(Edited by V. Graham)