Twenty counties yet to meet Covid bed capacity target

Friday, July 24th, 2020 00:00 |
A bed at the Mbagathi Hospital Isolation Centre. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

At least 20 counties are yet to meet the 300-bed capacity target given by President Uhuru Kenyatta as part of their preparedness against the Covid-19 pandemic.

So far, counties have procured an accumulative total of 11,934 isolation beds across all the 47 county governments, out of which 26 have attained the target.

Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, warned that the 20 counties will only be able to meet the target if the Treasury makes available cash to procure the beds.

“For the counties to achieve the target the treasury must release the money, otherwise, they will continue lagging behind in their efforts to prepare themselves against the pandemic,” Oparanya said in Nairobi yesterday.

He however noted that the 20 counties were working to meet the required number by the end of stipulated period of 30 days.

“Cumulatively we have a total of 447 ICU beds and the remaining counties are working towards ensuring availability of the beds,” Oparanya said during his State of the Devolution Address.

Devolution Conference

This year’s Annual Devolution Conference was set to take place in Makueni County but owing to the effects of the corona virus it has been called off.

Further, the devolved units have procured 437 ventilators and more were in the process of being acquired.

Counties, Oparanya said have trained 28,661 staff to deal with Covid-19. In addition, 77,614 community health volunteers and assistants have also been trained.

He also revealed that six counties namely, Machakos, Wajir, Trans Nzoia, Mombasa, Kilifi and Busia have certified laboratories to carry out Covid-19 testing, while Kajiado and Nakuru counties have mobile labs.

Oparanya noted that the fight against Covid-19 has had its own negative impact on indicators of essential health services saying that as of May 2020, many facilities recorded reduction ins in the uptake of essential health services including, attendance of ante natal clinics, facility deliveries.

Clinic visits for children under five for vaccination or routine checks, malaria patients on treatment  

“The number of people tested for HIV and unfortunately, TB cure rate has also dropped.

Nevertheless counties are working hard to avert these trends,” said Oparanya, the Kakamega Governor.

Oparanya noted that despite the challenges, counties have continued to pilot innovations in the health sector in order to improve service delivery.


He said the inventions include, use of mobile based technology by community Health Volunteers and assistants to collect data which has significant improved management of the groups in the counties.

The council chairman further revealed that counties were investing in health Insurance schemes with a case in hand being Makueni County which is investing an additional Sh200 million annually to run a community health insurance scheme. 

Makueni County, he revealed has capacity to built about 45,000 community development leaders, alongside 4,240 Community health volunteers to assist in Covid-19 home based care at the household level.

More on News