Kwale county government on Saturday received ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) from the Ministry of Health to aid in the fight against the novel coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.
The consignment of five ventilators and surgical masks, gloves, goggles, gowns and sanitizers were handed over to the area governor Salim Mvurya by the Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Mercy Mwangangi at the Msambweni county referral hospital.
Dr. Mwangangi who was accompanied by the acting Director General for the Ministry of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth, Government spokesperson Col (rtd) Cyrus Oguna and other senior government officials on a tour of the coastal county to assess its level of preparedness in the management of covid-19 cases.
Governor Mvurya said he was happy that the county has recorded zero covid-19 cases in the recent past and had also attained the Ministry of Health requirement of 340 covid-19 unit beds in various health facilities across the county.
He said the ventilators would be stationed at the county’s main covid-19 isolation facility at the Msambweni hospital.
Mvurya said his county now has 424 isolation beds with 10 intensive care unit capable beds and 13 ventilators.
Mvurya said the strong partnership between national and county governments has really helped in the fight against the highly contagious disease.
“This support will go further to enhance treatment of covid-19 patients as well as protection of our frontline healthcare workers,” he said while receiving the donations.
He noted that last week, the county also received a consignment of PPEs and surgical masks, gloves, goggles and sanitizers from the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund Board which he said would be deployed to keep healthcare workers safe.
He said the medical consignments would go a long way in the prevention against the coronavirus disease which he observed posed a great challenge to healthcare services globally.
“Kwale has received enough PPEs from the national government and well-wishers which have really helped our healthcare workers in the line of duty,” said Mvurya adding that his county could now effectively handle virus cases.
“So far, we’ve made great progress but we still urge residents to continue to adhere to all the covid-19 preventive measures since there is no cure or vaccine yet,” he added.
The county boss said his regional administration has set aside Sh42 million as allowances for the frontline healthcare workers.
He said the county has since March when the coronavirus disease broke out in the country and trained 1,761 healthcare workers on infection and prevention control.
“Our healthcare professionals are now training chiefs, their assistants, ward administrators and village elders on how to handle home-based care for asymptomatic patients with covid-19 and help in contact tracing,” he said.
Mvurya said currently, Kwale is relying on the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Kilifi laboratories for testing samples of those quarantined or suspected to have coronavirus disease but said his administration was putting mechanisms to have the tests done in Kwale.
Dr. Mwangangi has applauded the efforts made by Kwale in the war against covid-19 noting that infections have been on a steady decline.
She said the donations of PPEs and ventilators to the counties were aimed at ensuring the safety of health personnel and health service users thus reducing the risk of infections.
Dr. Mwangangi attributed the low infection rate in the county to strong educational and public awareness campaigns on the nature and mode of transmission of the coronavirus pandemic undertaken by the devolved unit.