25th March 2020
So far, Kenya as a nation has already reported a total of 25 confirmed Corona Virus cases as at 24th March 2020 in Nairobi, Kwale, Mombasa and Kilifi. In line with this, the County Government of Turkana has put into place a robust emergency preparedness and response plan and activated measures to protect her residents. A coordination structure was mooted immediately following the announcement of a positive case in Kenya with H.E Governor Josphat Koli Nanok and County Commissioner Mr. Wambua leading a county emergency response team that meets twice a week to provide general leadership and coordination response to this outbreak. They are actively supported by technical implementation teams based at the county and sub county level. So far, no single case has been reported in Turkana County.
We are aware that the National Government has issued the following directives:
Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Maintain social distance at all times
Non-essential staffs have been asked to work from home. Persons with a cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but avoid mixing with others in a crowd.
Maintain good respiratory hygiene by covering mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing with a handkerchief, tissue, or into flexed elbow.
Stay at home if unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.
Suspend all public gatherings, meetings and events.
Suspend all religious activities.
All bars and entertainment joints have been ordered closed.
Suspend all inter – school events.
Public transport providers are directed to provide hand sanitizers for their clients and regular cleaning of the vehicles.
Temporary suspension of prison visits for the next 30 days.
Kenyans must not abuse social media platforms or indulge in spreading misinformation that can cause fear and panic.
In respect to the above, H.E Governor Nanok directed the full enforcement of all the directives issued by the national Government to contain the disease. In addition, the Governor has instituted the following measures;
Three level coordination mechanisms have been formed to spearhead COVID 19 preparedness and response at the county level.
Appointment of a 9-member County Emergency Response Committee (CERC) with additional 4 co-opted members. This committee meets on Tuesdays and Fridays and has overall mandate of Coordinating county preparedness, prevention and response to the threat of COVID 19.
Establishment of a County Health Rapid Response Committee (CHRRC) co-chaired by Directors of Medical services and preventive health. This is the technical unit that spearheads implementation and informs the CERC. Sub units in this committee include; surveillance, advocacy, case management, coordination and infection prevention. Partners are equally represented in this committee. They meet on day to day basis to coordinate outbreak response.
Institution of Sub county rapid response team as a replica of the county RRT in all the sub county levels. They equally meet daily with representation from National Level. The Lodwar county and referral hospital has an independent rapid response team.
ENHANCED SCREENING AND SURVEILLANCE MEASURES
So far, a total of 23,405 persons entering the County have been screened where no case of COVID-19 reported. The screening and surveillance points have been established at:
Turkana university Cess
Lodwar GK Prison
Ngamia one junction
Nadapal (National govt)
Lokichoggio airport (national govt)
Regugee transit centre
Todonyang crossing point
Kibish crossing point
Loya crossing point
ADVOCACY, AWARENESS AND SOCIAL MOBILIZATION.
A county risk communication plan has been developed and implementation started.
Government offices and all agencies have been mapped out and provided with information
Two radio spots (Swahili and ngaturkana) has been developed and relayed to media channels
IEC materials have been printed with help of partners (World Vision, Egpaf and Ampath) and distributed through Sub County teams.
Use of public address system, posters and house to house rapid results initiatives by CHVs has been activated and upscale.
Standard case definitions distributed to the public and all the screening centers for ease of reference
Radio talk shows have been conducted in Kakuma and Lodwar
Note: This is the second press release by the Communication team to bridge the gap of information to the public.
Two (2) frontline health care workers trained
One senior medical officer and one senior laboratory technologist.
They have conducted one continuous medical education (CME) so far to frontline preparedness and response LCRH staff
Eight (8) more frontline health care workers have been taken to Kitale for a four (4) days training , they comprise of the following:
Two (2) senior registered clinical officers (RCOs)
Two (2) senior Kenya Registered Community Health Nurses (KRCHN)
One (1) senior laboratory technologist
One (1) senior infection prevention and control (IPC) officer
One (1) senior county disease surveillance officer
One (1) public health officer
Two experts who participated in the last Ebola response in West Africa have
Conducted a CME to the County Health Rapid Response Team
Conducted a CME to the LCRH rapid response team
Supported LCRH rapid response team in setting up isolation using their experience from West Africa response and they will continue supporting the facility until all necessary standards to safeguard the safety of the frontline response health care workers and public.
Visited and inspected Kanamkemer Sub County Hospital to check the level of preparedness and identification of existing gaps for possible mitigation measures
County specific case management protocol (borrowing from the standard WHO) has been developed and is under reviews before approval for use by frontline health care workers.
Three ambulances have been identified for referral of suspected cases from the screening points/holding areas to the isolation units. They have been zoned to take care of all the seven sub counties.
Early supportive therapy medications available although the stocks were meant for normal services delivery in the existing health systems from the County Government have been put.
The following facilities have been identified for setting up of additional isolation areas
Kainuk health Centre
Lokichar sub county hospital
Lokori sub county hospital
Kanamkemer sub county hospital
Lodwar county and referral hospital
Lokitaung sub county hospital
Lorugum sub county hospital
Teams are working around the clock to procure the necessary commodities, address infrastructural changes and train staffs to operationalize the above isolation areas.
INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL
Handwashing facilities have been installed in major public places, offices, business premises, and banks, and scaled up in health facilities.
Hand washing up scaled at households level with CHVs and sub county teams inspecting and reporting on the same.
Demonstration of proper hand washing with soap and running water has been upscaled.
Administered IPC score card to the health facilities identified for isolation that indicated serious gaps in IPC training and supplies
Contextualized the isolation rooms in LCRH with improvements to meet IPC protocol
Oriented 23 CRRT and 30 health workers at LCRs on IPC with support of two local experts who had worked on Ebola in West Africa
Identified the items required, personnel required and psychological preparedness that is required for the health workers to work in isolation
Understood the preparation and uses of the different chlorine concentrations ie 0.5% and 0.05%
Developed a check list for IPC supplies to isolation and disinfection teams.
IPC coordinator and LCRH PHO have gone for training with 6 other health workers in Kitale for 3days.
Working on LCRH isolation to ensure it meets the IPC protocol as soon as possible then extent to Kanam kemer Sub County Hospital Isolation
THE MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND LOGISTICS
As at 18th March, 2020 the County Government had procured and received the following;
Fluid resistant Ultra Ear loop face mask -2000 pcs
Infrared Gun thermometer – 30
Hand sanitizers 500 mls – 200 pcs
Liquid soap 20ltrs – 200 pcs
Disposable PPEs set- 1000 pcs
Disinfectant 5ltrs – 20 pcs
Going forward, the Government has placed an order of additional COVID-19 preparedness supplies as follows;
Hand sanitizers 500mls- 3000 pcs
Face masks ear loops 50’s- 400 boxes
Disinfectant black 5L- 200 pcs
Uncoated Goggles – 200 pcs
Knapsack Spray pumps- 40 pcs
Chlorine 65% 5kg- 100 pcs
Disposable Gowns- 1000 pcs
Cotton gauze 1500gms- 500 pcs
N-90 masks – 300 pcs
Hand held spray pumps- 100 pcs
Others comprehensive items like the beds, temporary tents, Culinary items, aprons, body bags etc. are being sought from KEMSA.
ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE
Turkana County Government recognizes the pivotal role enforcement and compliance plays in the implementation of measures against Corona Virus in Turkana. The County Enforcement directorate in collaboration with the national security agencies will undertake the following;
Supporting the department of health in manning the emergency call centers on a 24 hours basis
Conducting foot and mobile patrols to enforce all measures and directives in already identified public high risk areas.
Support department of health on emergency operations as and when required.
Reinforcing department of health teams at all county entry points already listed above.
Information sharing and collaboration with the national police teams on non-compliance countywide
Conduct public sensitization in respective areas of deployment.
So far, we recognize and appreciate the role played by our partners in enhancing our levels of preparedness. UNICEF, World vision, AMPATHplus, EGPAF and IRC have supported in different measures and ensured that the County has;
IEC materials and radio talk shows
Refreshment and other supplies for screeners
Sensitized health care workers
Color coded bins for waste management
In this regard, I urge residents of Turkana County to consider adhering to the precautionary directives issued by both the national and county Governments. At the same time, I would like to confirm that screening will continue at all entry points in the County.
Incase of any emergency, kindly call our toll free number on
H.E Hon. Josphat Koli Nanok EGH