KNA Homa Bay County government in partnership with Global Implementation Solutions (GIS) non-governmental organisation has set up an emergency operation centre to aid quick response to emergency cases in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking today while presiding over the launch of the centre at the county headquarters, area governor Cyprian Awiti applauded the Global Implementation Solutions for their contribution in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the government will use the centre to coordinate and respond to all emergency cases.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted negatively on county governments’ coffers due to reduced revenue collections, as businesses take the heat of curfew restrictions and other containment measures.
During the ceremony, the county government also received from diverse partners’ donations including Covid-19 rapid test kits and personal protective equipment to be used by community health workers in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
The donations were from non-governmental organizations like Elizabeth Glazer Paedriatic Aids Foundation, Medecins Sans Frontier’s, Kenya Red cross Lwala community Alliance, AMREF, UNICEF and London school of tropical medicine.
The GIS County Emergency Preparedness and Response Officer Vincent Ohuru said the emergency response center will be expanded to ease response to health issues.
He said the public health emergency operation center has staff who will help residents in addressing all emergency cases in the county such as fire and other disasters.
“For now, the centre is addressing Covid-19 because it is the main health concern at the moment but it will also be addressing other concerns,” Ouru said.
He said at the centre, staff can help in dispatching ambulances to patients in need of transfer to other hospitals for specialized care.
The official said members of the public will also be able to use a toll free number to call in case of an emergency.
“On receiving a call, a staffer at the centre will be able to weigh available options and give necessary advice to the caller. If it is an emergency case, a response team will be immediately mobilized to deal with it,” Mr Ouru said.
He said the centre will be expanded and streamlined to ease communications between residents, health workers and other emergency officers.
“After expansion, data will be analyzed and used for other purposes,” he said.
Homa Bay County Executive member for health Prof Ouma Muga said the donation will help address a number of issues that the county government could not deal with independently.
“Covid-19 rapid test kits we have received will help in quick diagnosis of the virus. This is important in the management of the virus,” the Muga said.
He said personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) that were donated to the county government will be given to community health volunteers who help in the prevention of Covid-19 at the community level.
Organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (EGPAF) promised to continue supporting health operations.