The National Government has ordered Kerugoya Referral Hospital in Kirinyaga County to stop admitting patients with immediate effect following an inspection by joint regulatory bodies that revealed an, even more, direr situation besides what has been reported in the media.
“The Laboratory is not able to perform basic tests such as full haemogram and urinalysis due to obsolete machines and lack/inadequacy of necessary reagents. Random blood sugar stripes were reported out of stock every so often,” reads the report.
“Due to lack of support staff at the facility, new mothers at the newborn unit are forced to carry out cleaning services,” it adds.
Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) chief executive Daniel Yumbya, there are also grave concerns over the lack of basic equipment such as weighing scales, BP machines and pulse oximeters; most of those available are malfunctioning.
Further, the hospital staff is said to have been using plain papers to write drug prescriptions, treatment sheets, and nursing cards.
The theatre roof is reported to have been leaking for close to one year and the staff admitted to having been covering machines with polythene bags to prevent damage.
The reports also pointed out a lack of leadership with an absentee and uncooperative medical superintendent/hospital manager. In the report, Dr. Gideon Mburu is accused of lying to the team about being away only to show up at the facility at 5 pm drunk.
“The hospital administrator Mr. Seasor Arthur Kamau only appeared late in the afternoon during interviews and appeared out of touch with reality on the ground,” it adds.
On Tuesday, the Kenya Union of Civil Servants (KNCS) in the County threatened to down their tools after their workers were directed to clean the hospital mess. What was meant to be a reduction in Kirinyaga’s ballooning wage bill, appeared to have opened a can of worms in the county’s health sector.
Doctors and clinical officers from Kirinyaga County had earlier joined nurses in demanding the reinstatement of the sacked workers. Of utmost worry to the health workers union, however, is how well the county government has planned to improve healthcare.
“The hospital is understaffed, they workers are overworked, there are no promotions or training. Kirinyaga County fails to understand that the people require specialized treatment,” Dr. Goody Gor, the KMPDU Secretary for Central region branch said in a previous interview.
And according to the Kirinyaga KNUN Secretary Regina Karigi, one nurse is expected to serve up to 50 patients which is against the required ratio–1 nurse for 15 patients. The biggest fear remains whether or not the withdrawal of casual workers and the closure of the hospital will deny Kirinyaga residents quality healthcare.