Health facilities ill-equipped to handle second wave

Thursday, November 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Former Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya. Photo/PD/VIOLA KOSOME

 Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka

County health facilities are ill equipped to contain the second wave of Covid-19 infections, it emerged yesterday.

Council of Governors (COG) chairman Wycliffe Oparanya warned that some 12 counties have not attained the minimum 300-bed capacity.

Speaking on the state of preparedness of the county governments, Oparanya warned that the devolved units were heading to a breaking point because of the new infections.

“We are not able to transfer patients even from one county to another,” he revealed during the sixth extraordinary session of the national and county governments coordinating summit held at State House, Nairobi.

He added that the 12 counties will not have the capacity to handle Covid-19 patients.

Oparanya further noted that 11 other counties have less than five Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in their isolation facilities.

“This is a major challenge for patients who may require ventilators and supplemental oxygen support,” he said.

According to a previous report by the CoG, the counties have 6,898 isolation beds against the required 30,500.

Oparanya noted that when the country eased restrictions on September 28, there were 1,038 healthcare workers infected.

Currently, an additional 627 healthcare workers have been infected, bringing the total to 1,665 infections, said Oparanya.

“This has affected optimal service delivery to Covid-19 patients. Further, before the reopening of the economy, 16 healthcare workers succumbed to the virus,” said the governor.

He added: “We now have additional three deaths of healthcare workers following the re-opening of the country, bringing the total number of fatalities to 19. We are running out of health care workers and this means that patient care will suffer.”

He also revealed that more than eight county assemblies have been closed adding that 16 counties have closed  a number of facilities and departments, while others have scaled-down operations.

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