The county government of Bomet has started supplying oxygen to private hospitals in the South Rift region.
It is also in talks with other devolved units to extend oxygen supply to their public health facilities as the country battles a new wave of Covid-19.
According to Governor Hillary Barchok, Siloam hospital in Kericho County and St Clare Kaplong hospital – both private health facilities – are the largest consumers of oxygen from the devolved government unit.
The county produces excess oxygen at a plant in Longisa County Referral hospital, which was set up in 2015 while neighbouring counties suffer acute shortages.
« The plant produces an average of 9,000 litres of oxygen per hour whose supplies far outstrips demand in our public health facilities, » said Dr Barchok.
« All the 34 Covid-19 isolation beds at Longisa County Referral hospital are connected directly with oxygen through a piping system. »
Out of the 224-bed capacity at Koiwa isolation centre, 60 beds are connected with oxygen in cylinders, which are refilled at Longisa County Referral Hospital.
Since installation, the plant has been supplying rural health facilities in the county using cylinders.
« We have extended services to humanity by supplying the oxygen in cylinders to health facilities in neighbouring counties, » said Dr Barchok.
Narok and Kericho are said to have made inquiries on the supply capacity.
Both private and public hospitals in the country are facing an acute shortage of oxygen amid rising demand.
Recently, it was revealed that Kenya National Referral hospital requires 8,000 litres of oxygen but the supplies stood at 3,000 litres.
Oxygen is supplied to anaesthetic machines and ventilators in hospitals or directly connected to patients by flow metres and tubing.
Mr Mutahi Kagwe, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, recently said that due to the spike in cases of Covid-19 infections, public health facilities could only supply 16 percent of the oxygen required.
He called on Kenyans holding onto empty cylinders to return them to hospitals to be refilled and used by those in need.
Mr Kagwe said oxygen demand had risen to 560 tonnes from the previous average of 410 tonnes when the Covid-19 broke out last year in the country.
The third wave of the pandemic has seen a rise in the admission of patients needing supplemental oxygen in hospitals across the country.