By Dan Kimani
Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has constructed and equipped a 35-bed Intensive Care Unit facility in a record 21 days.
The 35-bed unit that will be opened on Tuesday becomes the biggest in the country surpassing the Kenyatta National Hospital whose ICU has a capacity of 21 beds.
Speaking when he inspected the installation of machines in the facility on Monday, the governor said the project would be one of those he will be proud of even after exiting office.
Wa Iria said completion of the facility within his own deadline sets a good example that all projects can be completed on time.
He said he opted not to engage contractors as this would take more time and consume huge amounts of money.
“We used our county engineers, bought materials locally and engaged local youths for labour and we managed to save a lot of money,” he said.
The governor said the idea to have the ICU established was hatched years back but due to the bureaucracy in the government, it took long for it to be actualised.
However, with the outbreak of coronavirus, he thought of starting the project as part of preparedness to handle patients should the numbers continue to increase.
“The facility is not a preserve of Corona patients nor is it for the people of Murang’a only but it shall serve anybody from any corner of this country,” he said.
The governor said the county had already recruited 10 nurses to work at the unit in collaboration with medics from Aga Khan Hospital.
“We have a pact with the Aga Khan Hospital and they shall help us kick off operations at the facility,” he said.
“The unit has the best machines we could get and we intend to give quality services to patients,” he added.
Wa Iria assured the public that the charges at the facility will not be exorbitant, adding that the unit was not a money-minting scheme.
“In some facilities, a patient is required to pay huge amounts of money to get the services but we are going to do things differently,” he said, adding that part of the ICU has been set aside for paediatric cases.
“We also have a high dependency unit (HDU) and this makes our facility complete,” he said.
Wa Iria criticised those who ridiculed him that it was impossible to have the ICU done in 21 days.
“This goes in line with the national government’s universal health coverage (UHC) plan, which among the four key pillars laid out by the President,” he said.
However, he said, even if the facility started operations, he expected President Uhuru Kenyatta to officially commission it at a later date.
“We reserve that honour for the President because the resources used in constructing the facility were allocated by his government,” he said.