Why Uhuru gave MCAs car grants worth Billions knowing there was insufficient Oxygen in hospitals


CS Mutahi Kagwe photo

The state steadily put measures to supply oxygen in hospitals amid fears of low supplies and increasing demand as critics blame the government for issuing Sh 2 Million car grants to MCAs forgetting Oxygen.

According to the Health Ministry, the total production and requirement for the industry were about 410 tonnes as per last year.

The increasing number of critical care patients in need of oxygen in the country increased to about 560 tonnes in January and now at 880 tonnes.

Some 121 patients were admitted to ICUs on Sunday with Covid-19 complications.

32 people were on ventilatory support, while 82 were on supplemental oxygen. 7 more patients were under observation.

Another 88 patients are separately on supplementary oxygen, with 76 of them in the general wards and 12 in the high dependency units.

“The position at the moment is such that the industry is completely extended and if we go any further than that then some quick steps will have to be taken,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said.

CS Kagwe asks individuals holding cylinders at home, those idle in health facilities and other institutions to deliver them as a requirement for oxygen is critical, to allow for a refill.

It is approximated that more than 20,000 cylinders are resting idly in numerous hands in the country. Each cylinder costs roughly Sh40,000.

“These cylinders are expensive, the international market is very squeezed now and supply is a problem. We have asked for them under the public health activities that please return these cylinders as it is a matter of life and death at the moment,” Kagwe said.

“There are a lot of facilities with idle cylinders and I don’t think people are appreciating just how important it is not to have cylinders lying around when people are dying because of lack of oxygen.”

“It is inefficient because one cylinder can be used by several people if the oxygen has been piped to the bed sites so we are asking our facilities both county and national government facilities to fast-track the piping of oxygen to bed outlets so that we can use some of those cylinders and begin to fill some of them.”

Kenya has at least 70 oxygen plants, most of them not working. 

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