Governor Njuki faults politicians using Covid-19 to seek popularity

Tharaka- Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki, speaks just before receiving PPEs from the Equity Group Foundation

There has been tension in Tharaka Nithi County over the preparedness to handle Covid-19 cases.

The County Governor, Muthomi Njuki, has blamed some politicians of giving misleading information over Covid-19 preparedness that may create panic among the residents of the County.

Njuki said some politicians are using some local journalists to spread misleading information that the County is not prepared to handle Covid-19 patients which could send wrong signals to people in the far flung areas and drive some away.

“It is very unfortunate that some politicians are using the Covid-19 pandemic to try and gain some political mileage. When you tell people that the County is least prepared to handle Covid-19 patients when we are already producing our own oxygen what exactly are you implying?” posed the Governor.

Speaking while receiving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the medical personnel from the Equity Group Foundation at the Chuka Level Four hospital, Friday, Njuki said Tharaka Nithi County is among the most prepared counties with 488 isolation beds which is over and above the 300 directed by the President in collaboration with the Council of Governors.

He said before the Covid-19 pandemic the Chuka County Referral Hospital was going for oxygen from Embu and as far as Nairobi but based on the knowledge that Covid-19 is a respiratory illness the Hospital started producing its own.

“Covid-19 patients require oxygen through the respirators and now we produce sufficient to ensure no patient loses their life because of lack of the essential element. We now have 488 isolation beds and only two cases in the isolation wards. Surely what do some people mean by unpreparedness?” wondered the Governor.

He said his co-chair in the County Covid-19 Response Team, the County Commissioner Ms. Beverly Opwora can confirm that a delegation from the National Multi-Agency Covid-19 Response Committee that had visited the County during the week saw and counted the beds and took back the report to Nairobi.

Njuki who was reacting to media reports that Covid-19 patients are starving at the isolation centre disclosed that the County Referral Hospital is a public facility and all patients are served the same menu each meal and therefore the reports are unfounded.

“This is a public hospital and certainly not a five-star hotel and anyone who wants food beyond the hospital menu is free to order food from outside. This is not a prison and hence no need to complain that you cannot get what you want,” said the Governor.

 As stated by the Governor, during the week the county was visited by a delegation from the National Multi-Agency Covid-19 Response Committee that not only provided some PPEs to the frontline personnel in the fight against the virus but also inspected the isolation centre over preparedness.

The same week the Equity Group Foundation handed over PPEs to the Chuka Level Four Hospital to help in protecting the medical personnel involved in curbing the spread of coronavirus.

Speaking while handing over the equipment to the hospital, the Equity Group Chief Commercial Officer, Polycarp Igathe, said the consignment is part of the initiative sought to achieve the national objective of protecting medical personnel while promoting the creation of local medical supply ecosystem.

 “Equity Group Foundation in partnership with Equity Bank, the family of Dr. James Mwangi and MasterCard Foundation mobilized Sh 1.1 Billion towards the provision of PPEs for frontline healthcare workers dealing with Covid-19 patients,” said the Chief Commercial Officer.

Igathe said Chuka Level Four Hospital is among the 65 hospitals prioritized to benefit from the distribution of locally manufactured PPEs valued at Sh 237,218,300 for public hospitals nationwide.

Barely a week before, the Tharaka Nithi County Assembly donated 100 beds to the County government to help in coronavirus preparedness as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

While presenting the beds to the county executive, the Assembly speaker David Mbaya said the entire exercise was aimed at helping the people of Tharaka Nithi and it will be a norm to be adopted by future assemblies.

“Our County government, like other counties and nations, is struggling with Coronavirus pandemic and this is the reason we proposed to chip to fight the virus,” Mbaya had said.

The Speaker said the Assembly was ready to keep the harmonious working relationship with other government departments to reach their goals of helping residents.