A mega oxygen-generating plant was on Wednesday commissioned at Mwingi Level IV hospital in Kitui County ahead of plans to upgrade the facility to a teaching and referral hospital.
USAid Kenya East Africa Deputy Mission Director Bert Ubamadu handed over medical oxygen equipment worth Sh27.7 million to Governor Julius Malombe during the occasion.
Mr Ubamadu revealed that the organisation was keen to partner with transparently run county governments in order to boost the health delivery in the devolved units.
He said that Kitui is among five counties that have benefited from the programme whose key objective is to eliminate oxygen shortage in the country. Mr Malombe noted that the oxygen plant will save the facility at least Sh3.6 million monthly which is incurred in sourcing oxygen from Nairobi. This money will be channelled to other development programmes, Malombe said.
The governor stated that in his efforts to upgrade the facility, an intensive care unit will be constructed alongside a renal unit and a mother-to-child unit.
He further stated that the oxygen facility will boost efficiency of two surgical theatres and a newborn unit (NBU) which admits over 100 babies in a month.
“This is a great milestone in terms of revamping the health sector in the county. The surplus oxygen generated from this plant will be distributed to other facilities across the county,” said Malombe.
Other health facilities set to benefit from the oxygen plant include Kitui county referral hospital, Ikutha Level IV, and Mutomo hospitals among others.
Governor Malombe commended USAID and other development partners; JHPIEGO and Chemonics International for making the medical facility a reality.
Mwingi Level IV hospital is a strategic facility as it serves residents from both Kitui and Garissa counties owing to the Mwingi – Garissa highway. It boasts a modern outpatient block, a 23-bed surgical ward, and a maternity ward with a 47-bed capacity.
Malombe noted that other than the curative aspect of healthcare, his administration was also committed to preventive healthcare where strategic intervention measures have been put in place to curb preventable diseases such as malaria.