A man who impersonated a nurse and was treating patients at Embu County Referral Hospital has been jailed for two years.
Resident Magistrate Vincent Nyajundi heard that on September 9, Erick Mukundi, clad in a nurse's uniform, was found inside a ward attending to patients. Upon interrogation, health officials discovered that he was not a nurse.
Apparently, he had adorned the nursing gear from one of the laundry rooms.
A prosecution witness, a nurse, told the court she reported for duty that day and found the accused in nurse uniform and attending to patients. Initially, she thought he was a new doctor but on enquiring, Mr Mukundi, 32, claimed he was a nurse. At one point Mukundi sought to use the ward telephone to enquire about a drug, claiming he was not familiar with the hospital setting, she added.
She alerted the management who interrogated Mukundi and discovered that he was not even a trained health worker.
He was arrested and locked up at Embu police station and later charged in court.
In his defence, Mukundi told the court that he impersonated a nurse in a bid to try and get a permanent job so that he can provide for his mother and two siblings.
The magistrate said the prosecution, which had called seven witnesses, had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Mukundi was impersonating a public health worker and deserved the sentence as a warning to others.
The magistrate said it was dangerous for him to impersonate a nurse as he could have caused grave and irreversible harm.
He was jailed without an option of fine, but given 14 days to appeal the sentence.
Last year, Nakuru Level Five Hospital hit the headlines when a man posing as a doctor was arrested at the facility.
The quack was apprehended in the outpatient section. Three people had in the previous three years been arrested for posing as employees of various departments doing different assignments.
Interestingly, all the four, including the 33-year-old man arrested last year, were treating patients at the referral facility.