The United Nations (UN) in Nairobi has partnered with the Nairobi Hospital to set up a Coronavirus treatment facility that will cater to its staff and family members in Africa.
The 160-bed facility, which reports indicate will be located at the old nursing school opposite the main hospital, is expected to be complete in five to eight weeks.
The UN embarked on a search for facilities that could have 100-bed capacity capable of caring for Covid-19 victims only.
The facility is expected to be fully staffed, operational and diagnostically capable to care for Covid-19 victims who may experience severe and critical respiratory complications.
The UN in its quest, also wants the facility to care for mild, moderate and high-risk cases primarily depending on severity. The unit will only care for Covid-19 victims, therefore, removing the need for surgical capabilities.
Currently, the UN has set aside 100 beds at a city hotel for UN Staff who may require isolation.
“Construction of the facility starts July 20, to open in six-to-eight weeks,” Nairobi Hospital Chief Executive Officer Allan Pamba said on Sunday.
“It will have an operating theater, laboratory, radiology and physiology services and an initial bed-capacity of 150 including 25 intensive-care and 50 high-dependency units,” he said.
The care for UN staff has been critical to the organization and in June, it published a detailed medical evacuation protocol.
The protocol indicates that any staff who develops severe symptoms of the respiratory infection should be evacuated to a severe acute respiratory infection facility that is fully equipped with highly skilled staff.
Those eligible for evacuations include foreign and local staff of the UN and their dependents, military and police personnel, dependents deployed by the UN and troops in the African Union Mission to Somalia.
Others to be included are personnel of international non-governmental organizations implementing a coordinated humanitarian response, internationally deployed personnel of international vendors and contractors providing goods and services to the UN organizations.
Sources say the facility may also be open to non-UN Covid-19 victims.
This comes amid rising cases of Covid-19 in the country following the lifting of movement restrictions and lockdowns in the country.
Some sources also indicate that the facility may remain as a special medical evacuation centre for UN staff in Africa post Covid-19.