SWAMPED BY THIRD WAVE

On your own: Only 260 ICU beds in 41 counties

Only 104 beds available in the High Dependency Units, where \nurse may care for two patients

In Summary

•The 58 ICU beds available in the five locked-down counties declared Covid hot zones by President Kenyatta were full as of Wednesday.

Kenya is ill prepared to receive large numbers of Covid-19 patients in critical condition as the third wave sweeps the country. https://bit.ly/3rXw7S4

Kenya is ill prepared to receive large numbers of Covid-19 patients in critical condition as the third wave sweeps the country.

Data from the Council of Governors show there are only 417 ICU beds in 41 counties. 

Of these, only 259 are available for new patients.

Governors also admitted that there were only 186 High Dependency Units (HDU) beds in 41 counties; only 104 are available for new patients.

In ICU, there's usually one nurse per patient; in HDU, a nurse may care for two patients, sometimes more in difficult situations.

In their assessment of the counties' preparedness to deal with the pandemic, governors said there were 8,073 beds in 188 isolation centres.

Of these beds, only 6,159 beds were available.

With Covid-19 cases rising steadily, there's a space crisis in which many patients lack beds at hospitals.

The 58 ICU beds available in the five counties declared disease zones by President Uhuru Kenyatta were full on Wednesday.

Reports indicate an average admission of 20 patients who require ICU beds per day, the situation could be a ticking time bomb for counties.

Counties have a total of 2,828 oxygen cylinders and 730 concentrators with only 3,601 isolation beds connected to critical life-support systems

Cumulatively, there are 58 oxygen plants in the 47 counties of which 42 are functional, hence, the crisis of lack of medical oxygen to meet the increasing demand.

The facilities are unlikely to support the thousands of Covid-19 cases reported in the counties, considering that the latest test of 102,980 posted 15,007 positive cases.

The number of patients in isolation facilities stood at 7,071 as of Wednesday, way above the 6,159 beds at isolation centres in 41 counties.

Governors further reported 5,856 positive cases are under home-based care, whereas a total of 35,050 people have recovered from the virus.

Governors deplored the heavy human traffic at border points, saying they can increase community infections.

“We therefore urge the national and county governments to ensure speedy operations at border points to avoid overcrowding,” Council of Governors health committee chairman Anyang’ Nyong’o said.

He said they hope the concerted containment measures imposed by the President will result in declining reported cases.

In terms of vaccination, counties are 50,000 short of administering their 395,096 doses of Astrazeneca.

Nyong’o said 70,883 health workers have received the jab so far, as well as 120,975 security officers. 33,759 teachers, and 115,903 members of the general public.

Governors urged frontline workers and the elderly who are yet to be vaccinated to line up for the jab in order to reduce instance of severe illness and death from Covid19.

Counties were also faced with an imminent staff shortage following the expiry of contracts of thousands of health workers that were hired on a temporary basis to boost the fight.

But Nyong’o said the Health ministry has granted the authority for renewal of contracts of the said healthcare workers from April to September 2021.

He added that the ministry is working with governors to immediately replace health workers who terminated their contracts.