The Garissa County department of Health launched a specialist blood testing machine for its Laboratory and Renal Units. The Health Chief County Officer (CCO) Ms Isnino Rage who was speaking to the media said that the specialist machine will assist staff carry out specialist tests that were until now sent either to private hospitals or to Nairobi which greatly inconvenienced both patients and staff said the CCO. Ms Isnino said that while this will save time and improve hospital services, it will also save cost for the patients.
The CCO said the hospital carries out an average of 500 blood transfusions a month and the machine will assist in the tests that are required for blood donors and speed up the transfusion process. This will safe on the cost for the patients who were previsouly either referred to Nairobi or sent to private clinics within Garissa Town.
Ms Isnino who decried the large number of dialysis patients referred from Wajir County asked Wajir County government to operationalise their dialysis machines to ease the burden on Garissa County. ”Their are currently 30 dialysis patients 17 of which come from Wajir County and we ask that County Government and have variously discussed with them the need to operationalise their dialysis machines” said Ms Isnino.
Isnino said her department has recruited 8 nephrologist nurses who will ttend to kidney patients undergoing dialysis. The County government has also sponsored 10 more nurses to pursue nephrology study said Isnino. The hospital did not have nephrologist nurses until now and this is expected to ease the burden on patients and improve services.
Ms Isnino also said that there is an increase in the rate of cancer in the region and in the last 2 months the Garissa General Hospital has 10 patients undergoing chemotherapy. ”It is for this reason that Garissa County has invested Ksh 200 million to construct a cancer treatment centre which we believe will benefit the 10 FCDC counties and whose work will commence soon” said the CCO. This was necessitated by the number of referrals to Nairobi that is both costly and inconvenient for cancer patients added the CCO. Garissa County now is capable of surgery and Chemotherapy but does not yet have radiotherapy services which is only available in Nairobi.
Ms Isnino encouraged Garissa residents to donate blood more often as there is a dire shortage of blood for transfusion. ”We often go to Nairobi, Embu and other places for blood and we encourage people particularly the male population to donate blood for their brothers and sisters every 3 months. Free blood tests will be available for those who are willing to donate blood” said Ms Isnino.