Leased medical equipment lying idle in public hospitals
SEE ALSO :Hospital gets modern morgueHer father Jackson Chepkui said when his daughter was bitten on June 18, 2015, he rushed her to Marigat Hospital, but there were no antivenin and they were referred to Kabarnet Hospital. At the facility, her swollen right arm was operated on but her condition did not improve. She required specialised care but lack of an operational Intensive Care Unit (ICU) further sent the girl to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH). Medical report According to medical report, the girl was admitted to ICU with a compartment syndrome, renal failure and cellulitis. Kiplagat is not alone. Her struggles to get prompt medical care highlight the challenges faced by most patients in the country amid government plan of providing universal health, thanks to failure by respective counties to install leased digital medical machines and lack of experts.
SEE ALSO :Search for Nakuru killer motorist onIn Kericho, the machines were installed at the county hospital after its renovation. Installed machines include radiology, renal unit, ICU and modern laboratory. The radiology department faces the same challenges as in Baringo. There are no doctors to read images, according to Knun representative Laban Kipyego. The CT scan machines are also lying in a store as the county has not constructed an installation room. Currently, patients seeking for the services are referred to Kapkatet private hospital with severe cases referred to Malik Clinic in Nakuru, MTRH or PGH in Nakuru. “There are CT scan machines, but they are locked up as we wait for construction of installation room,” said the medic. Despite the ICU being operational, he says there is shortage of nurses. Though the hospital has a full-fledged radiology department, there are no specialist doctors, and sometimes tele-medicine is done, with some cases being taken to Sinendet Private Hospital. The situation is the same in Bomet where ICU is not functional. Medics instead use High Dependency Unit (HDU) that was launched last month. There are only two nurses trained on intensive care currently running the UHD. According to nurses representative Vincent Rono, for smooth operation, the unit requires at a group of least six nurses, with each team working on a shift of eight hours. Despite installation of the machines, majority of patients still seek services at Tenwek Mission Hospital. Patients in need of CT scan are also referred to MTRH and the mission hospital. Officer in charge at Nakuru Level Five Hospital Dr Joseph Mburu said services had improved following installation of the machines. Jessy Kimenjo, a patient with kidney ailment, said he was satisfied by the care he was receiving at the hospital. However, he explained that despite leasing of the machines, the national government did not bring in new staff to handle the machines. The management is currently forced to hire short-term contractors for smooth service delivery.