By John Mugendi
With the establishment of a modern oxygen plant at Chuka County Referral Hospital, Tharaka Nithi County has become a blessing to its neigbouring counties during the Covid-19 pandemic period.
With the production of 10 cylinders of 8.5m3 in 12 hours against a need of six to eight cylinders of oxygen per day, the county is able to support its neighbor counties including Embu which is struggling with the deficiency.
Speaking to The Press Point, Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki said the target is to double the production of oxygen by running the production in 24 hours.
He said the surplus will be sold to private hospitals and the neighbouring counties at a subsidized price to battle the pandemic whose key weapon is oxygen.
“Though health facilities in our county consume six to eight cylinders of oxygen per day, our aim is to double the current production help our neighbouring counties like Embu that are already struggling to meet the demand due to surge in Coronavirus infection,” said Mr Njuki.
The county boss said the oxygen plant which is a brain-child of Health Executive, Dr Gichuyia Nthuraku was a timely great idea though it came before the outbreak of Coronavirus.
He said the main challenge in doubling the oxygen production is the lack of cylinders and he appealed to the national government and the private institutions to offer support.
He noted that with the availability of adequate oxygen, the county is not strained in battling the pandemic.
“Out of 345 isolation beds, only six are presently occupied by patients on oxygen and it’s our wish the number will drop,” he said.
The governor urged the county residents to strictly adhere to the Ministry of Health protocols to curb the spreading of the dangerous virus that has become a global threat.