What you need to know:
- It is not clear why the commissioning of the ICU has been delayed as the county urgently needs one.
- A week ago, Governor Wilber Ottichilo only said that the five-bed unit will be launched “soon”
Vihiga’s health department is pushing for the immediate commissioning of a newly established intensive care unit (ICU) at the county referral hospital following a surge of Covid-19 cases.
The department, through its Covid-19 situational report dated October 30, is also recommending the immediate installation and operationalisation of an oxygen plant at the Mbale-based health facility.
Covid-19 cases in Vihiga rose from 63 on Friday to 74 on Saturday and the health department’s offices have been closed as 13 workers have tested positive.
The county has never had an ICU.
The new five-bed facility at the county referral hospital cost Sh60 million, money which was obtained from the government in the form of a Covid-19 conditional grant for the provision of emergency services.
The report further recommends recruitment of more staff to handle the pandemic, as well as more funding to build and equip an isolation ward, as a long term measure, to avoid "nosocomial transmissions". This refers to transmissions originating in a hospital.
It is not clear why the commissioning has been delayed as the county urgently needs one. A week ago, Governor Wilber Ottichilo only said that the five-bed unit will be launched “soon”.
"There is a need to [acquire] more isolation beds, commission the ICU immediately and ensure the oxygen plant is installed as soon as possible," the department’s report says.
It also calls for mass de-stigmatisation of members of the public through local radio stations and targeted health promotion messages for public awareness about the disease.
"A proper communication structure for transmission of data from sub-counties to the county level should be put in place to enable sharing of consumable information on a weekly basis," says the report.
The report shows that Covid-19 numbers escalated in October, signifying the onset of a second wave of infections.
Of the 74 cases reported since June, 38 were recorded this month alone, the situational report says.