Only seven counties have attained the 300 isolation bed capacity for Covid-19 preparedness, raising questions on how the Sh5 billion allocated for the exercise was utilised.
Even as new cases of infection continue to reduce, with 190 reported yesterday, a report dated August 6, which assessed the level of preparedness, shows Garissa, Nairobi, Machakos, Mandera, Mombasa, Kakamega and Makueni are the only counties to have achieved the 300-bed capacity requirement.
Nairobi leads with 1,085 beds, followed by Mombasa (404), Machakos(371), Mandera (307), Makueni (312), Garissa (310), and Kakamega at 301.
In the latest Covid-19 figures, Nairobi leads with 65 cases, followed by Kitui at 27, Mombasa, 16, Uasin Gishu, 13, and Embu, 10. The rest of the 17 counties reported less than a dozen cases.
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The government yesterday announced that four more patients succumbed to the disease, raising the fatalities to 616.
The report on preparedness is based on an assessment of 45 counties, and in total, there were 7,411 isolation beds, with an additional 312 for the intensive care unit.
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“Out of 45 counties so far assessed, 28 per cent have a bed capacity of over 200, and only 15 per cent currently meet the minimum 300-bed capacity,” reads the report prepared by the Ministry of Health Technical Assistance Team on Covid-19.
The report states that there are several counties with ongoing construction works to increase their health infrastructure to meet the minimum requirements within the short term (30 days) and medium to long term (90 days).
“In addition to the health facility isolation beds, an additional bed capacity of 4,015 isolation beds have also been identified from non-health facilities. This would cumulatively avail a bed capacity of 11,738 isolation beds for the pandemic,” it adds.
The report also found the counties to have inadequate staff.
For example, 86 per cent of the facilities assessed in the counties do not have anaesthesiologists while 78 per cent have no critical care officers.
“This will affect the level of healthcare services,” it reads. The team visited 263 facilities, of which 64 per cent were Level Four, which should be specialised to handle Covid-19 cases.
While oxygen was relatively available via cylinders, laboratory testing was not accessible for 54 per cent of the facilities.