What you need to know:
- The county's ministry of health has set aside adequate isolation wards and ICU beds.
- The county has also revamped its isolation wards with adequately trained health workers.
As the effects of the third wave of Covid-19 continue to be felt across the country, Bungoma County has heightened its level of preparedness in dealing with the virus.
Most of the health facilities across the county's nine constituencies have put in place adequate measures to handle the growing numbers of patients in the fifth most populous county.
One year down the line after the first case of Covid-19 was reported in the country, the border county has strived to enhance measures to fight the virus.
A spot check by Nation. Africa revealed that the county's ministry of health has set aside adequate isolation wards and ICU beds.
The county has also et up more isolation wards for the growing number of patients.
In addition the county has revamped its isolation wards with adequately trained health workers to take care of critically ill patients.
Bungoma health chief officer Patrick Wandili said that they have put in place adequate measures to handle the third wave that has already claimed several lives.
Safety of residents
"As a county with the support of governor Wycliffe Wangamati we have done tremendous work in terms of trying to manage the pandemic," Wandili said.
Mr Wandili said that from the onset of the pandemic outbreak in the country in March last year the ministry took several initiatives to contain the virus.
"We began by training the more than 1,000 health workers who were ready to deal with the pandemic," he said.
Mr Wandili said that as the virus continued take away more lives more effort should be put in place to ensure safety of residents.
"As a county we received Sh213 million which was used to establish isolation centres across the county according to the instructions we got and even bought the required number of beds, linen and the required items," he said.
"We have a total of six gazzeted isolation centres namely, Webuye Health Centre, Miendo Dispensary, Nalondo Health Centre, Ngalasia Dispensary, Malakisi Health Centre and Bumula Health Centre," he said.
Mr Wandili said that its only in Bumula where there is no adequate space for the number of beds that have been purchased but the issue is being addressed.
Fighting the pandemic
"Even when the third wave came in March this year we were not worried since we had put in place proper measures," he said.
"We have established seven bed ICUs five for ICU while two for HDU at Bungoma Referral Hospital that have really managed to save lives," he said.
Mr Wandili noted that no health worker from Bungoma has succumbed to the Covid-19 in the county ever since the pandemic began.
"We may have lost medics here in Bungoma like the late Dr Lugaliki Adisa who died at a Nairobi hospital but no one who is working with the county has died of Covid-19," he said.
"We have ensured that our health workers have been provided with proper items like PPEs, masks, gloves and body bags and we are happy with our progress and preparedness in fighting the pandemic," he said.
"I want to humbly area residents to fully adhere to the protocols laid down by the Ministry of Health by washing hands regularly, wearing masks and maintaining social distance in public places so as to bring down the virus," he said.
Mr Wandili said that initially there was public apathy on the uptake of Covid vaccine but that has since changed with hundreds of people in the county having taken the jab.
Covid-19 vaccine uptake
"We have witnessed an increase in the number of people who are showing up in our hospitals in Bungoma and Webuye County hospital to take the vaccine in the wake of the third wave of the virus," he said.
Mr Wandili said that by Friday 400 people had been vaccinated at Bungoma County Referral Hospital while on Thursday 600 had taken the vaccine.
"We have also had our health officials going to the Bungoma Police Station, Bungoma Prisons and other government offices to administer the vaccine," said Mr Wandili.
Bungoma County Director of medical services Dr Johnstone Akatu said that the county launched the jab on March 7.
Dr Akatu said that Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and members of the executive were the first to receive the vaccine followed by health workers, teachers and uniformed officers.
Dr Akatu said that after the president directed persons above 58 years to take the jab the numbers have gone high for those streaming in to have the jab.
"We have trained our sub county health officials and they have began administering the jab to our residents," he said.
Dr Akatu said that the county has allowed private facilities like Lifecare, Fountain Hospital, Elgon View Hospital and Khalaba Hospital to administer the jab.
Dr Akatu said that the county has registered about 2,750 online who have taken the jab.
He said that there has been network issues with the online registration that are being worked on meaning that the number could be high.
Dr Akatu said that the county received a total of 24,000 doses of the jab for about 12,000 people.
"Bungoma County on March 7 received 6,000 vaccines in the first phase from the national government that has been administered to residents across the county's nine constituencies," he said.
Bungoma which is a frontier county and fifth most populous County was expected to receive a total of 36,000 vaccine in the first phase.
The vaccine being given to western region residents from the national government is being stored at Kakamega County Referral Hospital.