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Gilgil mental hospital in crisis

Health & Science

Medics at the Gilgil Hospital are calling for the refurbishment of the facility.

The once vibrant hospital is slowly falling apart following a standoff between the county and national governments on who should fund its operations.

This, coupled with rising number of patients abandoned at the hospital, has made the facility to lose its lustre.

A senior medic, who declined to be named, said majority of the more than 50 patients at the hospital were elderly people who could not remember where they hailed from.

The medic said the hospital, which serves a vast area, was overstretched, with many patients forced to share beds despite their medical conditions.

“They have to share the little spaces we have since we cannot chase them out of the hospital. We also don’t have funds to enable us construct a bigger facility.

Archaic facilities

“This is the second largest mental institution after the Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital in Nairobi. Its facilities are archaic, hence the need to put up a modern unit to accommodate the growing number of mental patients brought in,” said the medic.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui says he has held talks with Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki over the state of the institution.

Mr Kinyanjui said his administration was in the process of seeking a special allocation from the national government to cater for the growing number of mentally challenged patients at the hospital.

“The hospital has around 40 patients and some were abandoned by their relatives, which has forced the hospital to shoulder the burden of catering for their needs for years,” he said.

Important role

Speaking during a public consultative forum in Gilgil, Kinyanjui said the mental unit played an important role in easing congestion at the Mathari Hospital.

He also revealed that his administration had set aside Sh40 million in the 2019/2020 financial year to equip and modernise the hospital.

“This is just the start of improving health care in Gilgil. We will continue to provide funds every financial year to reduce the burden of patients travelling from either Naivasha or Nakuru to seek services,” the governor said.

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