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Wajir County has opened a Regional Referral Laboratory to be a Covid-19 testing site for the area counties.

The laboratory will help ease pressure in Wajir, Mandera, Isiolo and Garissa and has the capacity to test 60 to 100 samples a day.

Governor Mohamed Abdi said they managed to put in place all the requisite kits and capacity to formally carry out testing Covid-19 with the support of National Public Health Laboratories.

He added the laboratory was built by the World Bank under the East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project.

SEE ALSO: Ministry warns of fake Covid-19 testing kits

While commissioning the facility, the governor termed the development as a milestone and urged for cooperation from locals to contain any spread.

“Wajir Regional Lab is currently testing 60 to 100 samples in 24 hours. All the biosafety and biosecurity measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of our health care workers, the general public and environment. The personnel are provided with personal protective equipment,” he said.

Abdi said they have also upped surveillance with the capacity to respond to all alerts raised through different channels.

He added the county is partnering with the police at the roadblocks to intercept those travelling from outside the county to administer immediate screening.

There are 30 frontline health care workers on Covid-19 trained by a team from the Ministry of Health and 60 beds and other supplies have been purchased for distribution to the isolation wards in the sub-counties. Mandera has recorded eight Covid-19 cases posing a danger to other neighbouring counties including Wajir.

SEE ALSO: State to review rules on Covid-19 tests after recent WHO findings

Nairobi Hospital steps up

Meanwhile, the Nairobi Hospital says it has created an enabling environment to ensure that all healthcare professionals are ready for Covid-19 inpatient management.

Chief Executive Officer Dr Allan Pamba said the hospital established a multidisciplinary Covid-19 task force to think through and manage all Covid-19 matters.

"This task force made recommendations that were adopted to guarantee staff protection,’’ said Dr Pamba in an interview.

The hospital has established a 100-bed residence for both male and female staff responsible for inpatient management at the College of Health Sciences. The hospital also reviewed insurance policies and now all healthcare workers have competitive insurance for both inpatient and outpatient services.

‘’The hospital will take care of all medical bills both in and outpatient for any staffer who gets infected with the coronavirus. This insurance has been extended to all their dependents,’’ said Dr Pamba.

The hospital has taken a step further to ensure that locum staff are also covered as well as admitting staff who are not permanent employees of the hospital.

The hospital reviewed the shift system to implement two-shift system instead of three. Thus the day shift starts from 7.00 am to 5.00 pm and the night shift starts from 5.00pm to 8.00 am.

There is a global shortage of PPEs but Nairobi Hospital has a system that guarantees a continuous supply of PPEs.

All clinical and non-clinical staff are continuously trained and updated on Covid-19 protocols. The training includes infection prevention and control with emphasis on donning and doffing of PPEs. The training also focuses on demystifying the pandemic myths and misinformation.

"The hospital has a competent and committed team that offers psychological and spiritual support to staff as well as patients. In addition, social support has been enhanced by the provision of transport and accommodation for staff who may work beyond the curfew time as well as those who may have other needs such as insecurity and fear,’’ said Dr Pamba.

The hospital offers staff meals at no cost for all staff working in the Covid-19 units and staff on the night shift.

As per the ministries’ guidelines, the hospital has ensured that all staff at high risk of contracting the virus are kept away from the units and screening points.

The hospital started testing for the disease after acquiring infrastructure from Europe despite the global supply chain challenges. The test goes for Sh10,000.00.

Wajir County Regional Referral Laboratory Covid-19 testing Mohamed Abdi
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