State, Rockefeller, Amref to establish oxygen plant in Nyeri

by Amref Health Africa

The government is in discussions with the Rockefeller Foundation and Amref to establish an oxygen generation plant at Kenyatta National Hospital, Othaya Annex, in Nyeri county.

William Asiko, Rockefeller Foundation managing director for Africa, said on Sunday the facility is the most appropriate place to establish the plant.

He said two months ago they signed an MoU with the Ministry of Health and Amref to support the Covid-19 response.

“Today is a continuation of that same MoU in which we signed Sh100 million to support the government in Covid-19 response,” he said.

Asiko said they will not only focus on Covid-19 but will continue the partnership with the Health ministry to help on other issues that may continue to emerge.

Amref Health Africa Group CEO Githinji Gitahi said they have agreed to start by providing a bulk oxygen supply at the level 6 facility so that seven beds in the ICU can be operational.

But Gitahi said the oxygen plant will be an immediate investment that will be worked on in the next one to two months they will be in the county.

Gitahi also announced that Rockefeller Foundation, through Amref, also donated 35 beds with mattresses to support the centre, three patient monitors, 4,000 full sets of PPE and 1,000 cartons of sanitiser.

He told the Nyeri government that Amref will work with the county in the fight against Covid-19 through home-based care.

The Health ministry will be releasing a protocol for home-based care.

Gitahi said Amref would work with the county and the Ministry of Health under a grant from the European Union to ensure that they provide medical supplies to hospitals and train health workers and community engagements.

“In that phase, the individual, the household and the community are extremely critical. I want to recognize the value and the work done by the community health volunteers and community health workers because they are going to be a key asset in home-based care,” he said.

They spoke at the Othaya Level 6 Hospital in Othaya during daily Covid-19 briefing by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

ICT CS Joe Mucheru said money has been allocated in the budget to connect all the hospitals with fibre internet and has already completed the data centre at Konza City which is going to allow them to put all the ICT machines needed.

This, he said, will not only allow hospitals to interact and work together but will also enable each patient to have their own electronic medical record.

That will enable the government to manage this pandemic and be even more prepared in the future, he said.

Health Committee of the National Assembly chairperson Sabina Chege said they have allocated Sh150 million for construction of amenities such as a kitchen, a laundry room and a morgue at the facility.

The hospital has been selected as a Covid-19 isolation centre in case Mt Kenya Hospital is overwhelmed.

Edited by A.N

Article first published on The Star, Kenya.

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