Covid was godsend for health care – CoG
The outbreak of Covid-19 resulted in the rapid expansion of health care facilities in counties which will enable them to successfully deal with future pandemics.
Council of Governors chair Martin Wambora said counties came up with social-economic policies to cushion people against the impact of the pandemic.
“Covid-19 taught us very serious lessons and was the contributory factor to many of the developments we are seeing today,” he said.
Wambora stated that most of the counties managed to expand their health facilities following the outbreak of the disease which, he said, means better service delivery in future.
“These were some of the pros while tackling the scourge and I must say they came with an advantage of sorts for now and indeed the future,” he explained.
A report that was released yesterday dubbed a Compendium of County Innovations and Best Practices on Covid-19 response details how the counties dealt with the vagaries of pandemics since March 2020.
One of the moves that the report highlights was the decision by Machakos County to convert Kenyatta Stadium into a makeshift hospital.
Machakos County government was also able to establish a regional public health laboratory that was later certified by Kemri to test Covid-19.
The report also documents how Kericho dealt with a shortage of reagents by using radiology to test Covid and initiate treatment on time.
Migori County focused on handling the virus in the correctional facilities.
“The county government converted the Central G.K Prison into a Covid-19 management centre where not only did they treat inmates but people within the locality,” said the report.
The report also highlights how counties made interventions in areas of finance and planning.
Nyeri County, for instance, partnered with Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and came up with a framework that would establish expertise to coordinate and steer the health and economic responses to pandemics.
Through this, the county was able to come up with programmes like Jenga Soko, Kuza Kazi programme, Nyeri County Youth Service programme and Nyeri County Hospital Bed manufacture programme.
With cases of gender-based violence on the rise, Mombasa County established a toll-free line and set a situation room for survivors.
In Makueni County, Governor Kivutha Kibwana spearheaded a programme where men were trained to become gender equity champions.
Kilifi County came up with ways that would prevent teenage pregnancies.
In education, Kitui County provided free face masks to learners.
Wambora said the biggest challenge is the sustainability of the interventions because of limited funding. “Our wish is that the government allocates more money to us and we will be able to make Kenya a better place,” he said.