NAIROBI, KENYA: The Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board has ordered the closure of a hospital in Nairobi's Umoja as it intensified a crackdown on illegal facilities.
The board also announced renewed campaign against unlicensed medical personnel and facilities.
A letter dated July 8 and signed by the board's registrar Dr Nicholas Muraguri accused the management of Victory Hospital in Umoja II estate of failure to comply with previous orders to employ qualified personnel, purchase critical equipment and improve the hospital's general conditions.
The hospital was taken to the board's tribunal last month after Joan Akinyi filed a complaint alleging the facility was responsible for her newborn's death. This prompted the board to launch investigations.
An inspection team that visited the hospital on July 2 said they established that a doctor employed by the hospital was not present and records revealed he did not have a practicing licence.
It also emerged that a nurse allegedly employed at the facility was also not present during the inspection and there was no documentation to show she was the resident nurse.
The board's CEO Daniel Yumbya Sunday put on notice other hospitals not complying with the minimum requirements.
"We will not spare any institution that compromises on the healthcare they give to patients. Those seeking treatment have a right to receive quality care in line with the Constitution. All hospitals not meeting this requirement will be shut down until they do so," he said.
He called on Kenyans to familiarise themselves with their rights when they go to hospitals to ensure they receive quality medical attention that does not endanger their lives.
That is covered in the Kenya National Patient's Rights Charter produced by the board for the first time last year, giving patients a host of rights. However, many Kenyans are yet to read it.
The inspection report for the closed facility showed the hospital is squeezed in a residential area, has poor ventilation and lighting and stuffiness especially in the wards. It added that the facility is in a four-storey building with a narrow staircase without a lift making the movement of patients problematic.
The tribunal established that the hospital lacked critical medical facilities for newborns such as an incubators and a functioning suction machine.
The hospital failed to comply with the board's orders to employ a full-time registered medical doctor as well as a nursing officer, according to the report.
The board said the hospital was given reminders on four occasions before the decision to shut it down was reached.