The Kiambu government is in the process of procuring oxygen in bulk for four health facilities to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor James Nyoro said the county government is getting quotations from suppliers like BOC Kenya Ltd and Hewa Tele.
The governor said on Wednesday the oxygen will be installed at Gatundu, Thika and Kiambu level 5 hospitals and Tigoni Level 4 Hospital.
He had earlier announced that Tigoni Hospital will be turned into an exclusive Covid-19 facility, adding that the facility had 200 beds and there were plans to add 100 more.
He said unlike ventilators, which are costly and limited to serving one patient at a time, a single oxygen cylinder can serve over 100 patients at a go.
“We’ve consulted widely to reach this decision. Once we instal oxygen in the health facilities, piping will be done. Ventilators are good but each costs not less than Sh4 million. But at this difficult time when we are facing even a cash crisis, it’s good to have surplus oxygen in our facilities,” the county chief said.
The county chief also noted that Intensive Care Units at the three level-5 hospitals and one at Tigoni Level 4 Hospital are being worked on and will be fully equipped with ventilators, monitors and beds by the end of this week.
Nyoro said they are relying on the meagre funds the county has, as well as donations being channelled through the County Emergency Response Fund.
“From huge budget cuts from the national government to not collecting revenue, we are really suffering, and we need a lot of support because we do not know how long this [pandemic] is going to last,” he said.
The county chief spoke while receiving donations from two Thika firms.
Nyoro was accompanied by Deputy Governor Joyce Ngugi and Kenya Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund directors Jeremy Awori and business mogul Narendra Raval, popularly known as Guru. They received donations from Bakex Millers Ltd (a subsidiary firm of Broadways Bakeries Ltd) and Capwell Industries Ltd.
Already, a committee headed by former Cabinet Minister George Muhoho and chaired by Eddy Njoroge is coordinating donations to cushion vulnerable families in Kiambu from the adverse effects of the coronavirus.
Bakex Millers Ltd donated Sh7.5 million and 10,000 bales of wheat flour (Phulka Atta Mark 1) worth Sh12.5 million to the Kenya Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund. The wheat flour will benefit 60,000 families.
They also donated Sh5 million to the Kiambu County Emergency Response Fund.
CEO Bimal Shah said Kiambu county will get 1,000 bales of the wheat flour. Embu, Isiolo, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Kitui, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Laikipia, Meru, Nakuru, Murang’a, Nyandarua and Uasin Gishu counties will receive 500 bales each to help needy and deserving families.
Capwell Industries, led by CEO Rajan Shah, handed a donation of Soko maize flour worth Sh20 million to Awori and Raval. The maize flour will benefit 85,000 families across the country.
Shah said they have donated food worth Sh5 million to vulnerable Kiambu residents, especially those living in slums like Kiandutu, Gachagi, Matharao, Umoja and Chania in Thika subcounty.
The two business magnates called on other corporate organisations to generously contribute and pool resources to help the country and Kenyans during this difficult time.
“We are doing this for our country and our people. Let’s all open our hearts and contribute generously,” Shah said.