County hospitals to receive ICU centres in June

Patients from selected county hospitals around the country are going to benefit from 11 Intensive Care Unit (ICU)entres set to be opened by June next year, the government has said.

In an interview with the Business Daily, director of medical services Nicholas Muraguri said that the state aims to provide Kenyans access to uninterrupted, quality healthcare services as part of a controversial S8 billion medical equipment deal.

READ: ICU equipment deal gives patients in counties new lease of life

ALSO READ: Why ministry leased S8bn medical equipment

“Under the Managed Equipment Services (MES) project, 11 Level five hospitals countrywide will be equipped with ICU facilities. Most of the hospitals that will benefit from the project are currently not offering ICU services and these centers are expected to play a critical role in the health care system of this country,” said Dr Muraguri.

The county hospitals that will benefit from the programme include those from Machakos, Kakamega, Embu, Meru, Nakuru, Kisii, Garissa, Nyeri, Thika, Kisumu and the Coast Provincial General Hospital (PGH).

Dr Muraguri said that each of these centres will have six ICUs and three High Dependency Units (HDU). They will also be provided with oxygen generating plants and the full package of required equipment for functional ICUs and HDUs.

He noted that ICUs cater for patients with life threatening illnesses and injuries which require constant, close monitoring and support to ensure normal bodily functions, adding that the facilities would be staffed by highly trained personnel specialised in caring for the critically ill.

“The new ICUs that will be spread across the country will greatly improve access to care to critically ill patients. This will greatly improve clinical outcomes and reduce mortality and morbidity of patients requiring this service,” he said.

Dr Muraguri also noted that acute care plays a vital role in the prevention of death and disability and that ideally, all hospitals with operating theatres should have an ICU facility of at least two beds to provide specialized life support services to patients that undergo major surgical procedures.

The first quarter of the project that ended in September involved the construction of new ICU rooms in Thika PGH and Machakos PGH. Kakamega and Nakuru PGH got a facelift of already existing buildings, he said.

Dr Muraguri also indicated that the second quarter of the centres will be completed by March and that Coast PGH is scheduled to close the initiative in June.

“Coast PGH will be our last project in this ICUs package…the rooms in the first phase have already been set up and equipped and training of personnel is currently ongoing at the Kenyatta National Hospital and on site. We are also doing machine testing, after which they will be ready for use,” he said.