Busia County Assembly demands answers on 28 paralysed patients, want officials fired

Busia, Kenya: Busia Members of County Assembly (MCAs) on Thursday raised concern over the high rate of loss of human lives in local health facilities.

The MCAs while debating on a motion moved by Deputy Speaker Moses Ote (Angurai South) also questioned the ability of the County Executive Committee (CEC) member in charge of Health, Chief Officer and County Director of Health Services to handle the health docket following a series of catastrophic mistakes by the medics.

From lack of important drugs such as anti-rabies, anti-snake venom and anti-tetanus jabs, to lack of important facilities such as microscopes in laboratories and toilets, and selling of P3 forms, the MCAs poked holes in the management of those leading the health sector.

Speaker of the Assembly Bernard Wamalwa instructed the Assembly's Chairman of Committee on Health Ishmael Orodi, to bring a comprehensive report within seven days showing measures undertaken by the CEC to curb the rot in the health sector.

"We expect a report on the incidents on Thursday next week. You are all aware that this is a matter that has caught the interest of the whole nation because it touches on lives," said Wamalwa after the members unanimously approved the motion.

The motion comes after it emerged that the number of children who were left paralysed after receiving treatment at Akichelesit Dispensary would not have reached 28 had the officers concerned acted swiftly.

"I personally raised the matter three months ago when I heard of the first five cases, but no immediate action was taken... Mr Speaker, if it were within my power, I would have asked the CEC, the Chief officer, the Medical Superintendent and the chairman of committee on health and sanitation of this assembly," said Ote.

Some MCAs blamed the poor service delivery in the health sector in the county on corruption, negligence, nepotism and increase in number of unqualified and irresponsible medical practitioners.

"I was shocked to learn that 70 per cent of medical supplies flagged off by the deputy governor last year, were actually condoms not drugs," said Eric Kaibe (Kingandole Ward).

It was also revealed that the pregnant woman who died a week ago while in labour at Sio Port Sub-county Hospital  allegedly failed to raise Sh1,000 to fuel an ambulance and thus died due to negligence.

The MCAs also gave their personal experiences at hands of the health workers.

Monica Mung'ala (Nominated) narrated how she transported children who were involved in an accident to the County referral hospital only to find that there were no doctors to attend to the injured.