BED CAPACITY STILL A CHALLENGE AT KHWISERO AMID SOARING COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY

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Khwisero Health Centre appears to be between the rock and a hard place as the fight against Corona Virus Disease (Covid-19) scourge intensifies.
Out of the Kakamega County’s requirement of 220 bed capacity (according to the national Ministry of Health report on 3rd July, 2020), the facility has only 2 isolation rooms with 1 bed each incase the pandemic strikes.
This was revealed during a visit to the facility by a section of County Assembly’s Covid-19 sensitisation sub-committee led by Marama Central Ward Member of County Assembly (MCA), Hon. Philip Maina.
Medical Officer of Health (MOH) incharge of Khwisero Health Centre, Dr. Jyro Songa said the isolation centre at the facility was necessitated by the challenges experienced at Mwihila level IV hospital in handling Covid-19 suspected cased.
“Initially, we identified Mwihila hospital, which is a faith based healthy facility to be a level IV hospital to be our isolation centre with a three  bed capacity but when the first COVID-19 suspect was taken there, we encountered preliminary challenges, which have been addressed,” Dr. Songa explained.
After  consultations with the county Chief Officer of Health, it was agreed that another isolation centre be set within the Khwisero Sub-County hospital, but the one at Mwihila remains well-equipped by the county government for emergency cases, he added.
Dr. Songa however lamented that one of the rooms at the isolation centre has been further redesigned to cater for cholera patients after identifying one case that was managed by the institution’s health officers.
The sub-committee was told that a total of 125 medical practitioners from Khwisero Sub-County had undergone thorough training in handling Covid-19 by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with Masinde Muliro University School of Medicine department.
The facility has further done sensitisation to the public across the Sub-County with County Enforcement teams, police officers and national government administrators- Chiefs and Sub-Chiefs being main targets.
On whether the facility could manage larger numbers incase the disease strikes, Mr. Songa said that Mumias West Level IV Hospital had been identified as the treatment centre that could come in to rescue the situation.
The MOH acknowledged efforts by both the County Executive and County Assembly and welcomed more trainings and sensitisation programs for health officers in preparedness to tackle the surging Covid-19 pandemic.
In Butere Sub-County Hospital, the  fscility has an isolation centre in readiness for any Covid-19 casualty.
The hospital’s Surveillance Officer, Mr. Eliud Nasinyama, said the hospital had managed to handle 3 Covid-19 suspected cases.
There was however a concern by the sub-committee members led by Koyonzo Ward MCA, Hon. Harrison Shikuku that some safety measures at the facility like keeping distance and handwashing were not being taken into consideration at the facility.
Since it’s outbreak in December, 2019 at Wuhan in China, Kakamega County has registered 5 COVID-19 positive cases as at 3rd July, 2020.
The County Assembly of Kakamega came up with Three Adhoc committees as a wake up call to help and ensure that the County Executive move with speed in preparedness, safety and handling Covid-19 cases in the County.
They are Surveillance, Oversight and Sensitization committees.
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