Kirinyaga County Government is focusing its Covid-19 prevention campaigns on schools as they reopen amid the pandemic to ensure that there is no rise in the spread of the virus.
The County’s Department of Health has already held meetings with education officials from both national and county governments where expectations and matters regarding the reopening were discussed.
The County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for health, Gladys Kimingi, has said that in order to contain the virus spread, continuous sensitization in schools as well as monitoring to ensure that the laid down guidelines are followed will be carried out.
This will complement the campaigns that were carried out in schools during the last term’s partial reopening.
The CECM said that so far about 200 teachers have been reached while students from about 60 schools have been sensitized in the past one month when the county’s department of health embarked on an accelerated Covid-19 prevention campaign around the county.
She added that the county government has linked all the schools with health workers who will be in contact with the schools from time to time offering the required guidance as well as ensuring that they followed the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health which include wearing of masks and washing of hands among others.
Apart from sensitizing teachers and students, roles of other staff in the schools such as watchmen, cooks, groundsmen have been well stipulated so that they all play their part in the prevention of the Covid-19 in the schools.
She said that the health department has also come up with a reporting template for Covid-19 suspected cases in schools which is supposed to be filled by school heads and submitted to the Sub-County Covid-19 Multiagency Team through the Sub-County Public Health Officer.
The template captures details of the student, the symptoms exhibited and the facility they were referred to.
Kimingi advised that any student suspected to have Covid-19 should be taken to the nearest health facility where they will be reviewed and referred accordingly should they meet the case definition for the disease.
On Wednesday, the county’s Department of Education held a sensitization meeting for all the polytechnic principals, the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Sub County Education Officers as well as Sub County and Ward Administrators from the county.
The officers were taken through the various guidelines and school reopening directives which they were asked to implement.
The County Executive Committee Member for Education, Joseph Kinyua, said that all the county’s 198 ECD centres have already reopened while the 15 polytechnics in the county will be reopened next week.
He noted that the polytechnic principals are members of the zonal Covid-19 Committees.
Kinyua also noted that the extra classrooms constructed last year in some ECDE centres and polytechnics will go along way in enhancing the capacity of the institutions.
He said that during the last financial year, the County Government constructed 5 ECDE classrooms and renovated 26 others while this year several new classrooms will also be built under the ward-based development program.
The county has also constructed an additional 20 classrooms and two dormitories to expand the capacity of the youth polytechnics in the last three years.
The CEC also said that pupils from ECDE centres will benefit from free face masks in a consignment of 140,000 masks set to be distributed by the county government to school children.
The masks are produced by the Department of Gender at the county’sKaitheri Apparel Factory in Kerugoya.
He urged schools staff, parents and pupils to play their part in the prevention of the spread of the virus both while in school and outside the school.
Kirinyaga County has so far recorded a total of 476 positive cases of Covid-19 and seven deaths.
A total of 21 patients have so far recovered from the isolation centre while others have recovered under the Home Based Care program. Currently, there is no patient admitted at the isolation centre while 4 are recovering under home-based care.