Siaya spends Sh250 million on Covid-19 preparedness

Monday, June 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Siaya Dounty Referral Hospital.

 Eric Juma

Siaya County is said to have spent Sh250 million in the fight against Covid-19 despite owning a low nine Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds to deal with the contagious novel virus.

Shortage of ventilators and beds in devolved units like Siaya County have become the government’s Achilles Heel in efforts to fight the coronavirus and formed the basis upon which secession of movement into and out of Covid-19 the hotspots that are Nairobi and Mombasa were extended by one month.

A spot check by People Daily established that only two ventilators are installed in the public-run hospitals within Siaya as wards reserved for hospitalising Covid-19 patients are only equipped with ordinary beds devoid of the vital life-saving machines.

Five ventilators

From the Sh250 million, the county government budgeted for five ventilators which are yet to be delivered to designated isolation centres three months down the line.

The implication is that if Covid-19 victims with breathing problems rise beyond two within the county then survival would be less than likely.

Siaya has 147 health facilities with just three, Siaya Referral Hospital, Urenga and Bondo KMTC having ideal quarantine centres.

Yala, Ukwala, Madiany and Ambira have isolation rooms that do not meet basic accommodation standards.

One day after the president called out Siaya as an example of how not to prepare for a pandemic, a defiant Deputy Governor James Okumbe on Sunday announced that sections of Urenga Health Centre had been converted to isolation centres for Covid-19 patients.

Okumbe announced that Uranga has a 50-bed capacity at a would-be isolation centre.

He claimed Siaya was free of Covid-19 patients, arguing that only imported cases from Mombasa and Nairobi posed a threat to residentss.

“Already four out of eight people admitted to Bondo Isolation Centre after testing positive to Coronavirus have been discharged after testing negative so six beds are still empty,” he announced.

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