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ICU, renal units closed due to equipment failure, says worker

Health & Science - By Francis Ngige | November 12th 2015 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300
Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi speaks to Journalists after opening the Muruguru Police post housing units built at a cost of Sh4.5 million from the County Development Fund (CDF). The MP said she will move a motion in parliament to restrain the county government from meddling in marketing of local coffee. [PHOTO: MURIMI MWANGI/STANDARD]

Medics manning the Intensive Care and Renal Units at the Nyeri county referral hospital are not in Italy for training as had been alleged by the local government, it has emerged.

On Tuesday, there was outrage among MPs even as the County Health Director Nelson Muriu held an emergency meeting with members of staff at the hospital and assured them that "things would improve soonest".

On Monday, Health Executive Charles Githinji had said the two units had been closed to enable staff to attend specialised training in Italy.

But a day later, one of the medical staff said to be on the list of those travelling to Italy told The Standard that he was not aware of such a plan.

The employee revealed that the only training he had heard about was the one attended by renal unit and ICU workers at the Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi and Teaching Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

"Honestly I have not heard of such a training," he said.

Attempts to get further clarification from Dr Githinji were fruitless as he declined to answer calls or respond to messages.

Leaders and residents called on the local county government to ensure the immediate reopening of the units.

sensitive departments

Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi described the closure as irresponsible and insensitive on the part of the county government.

"This is very ridiculous. How do you close such sensitive departments in a hospital that serves thousands of people? Many people are affected and I wonder if the county government would assist those seeking medical services in private hospitals," Ms Murugi said.

The legislator said the move by the county government indicated that it was not concerned with the plight of poor people who seek services at the facility. She claimed that the hospital has been ran down and was without drugs forcing patients to dig deeper into their pockets.

"Many of my constituents have complained about poor services at the hospital. They are not getting drugs or laboratory services. The county government has completely failed," She said.

Her Kieni counterpart Kanini Kega said the closure had affected the most vulnerable members of the society.

James Murigu, a resident, said it was unfortunate that such a facility was lacking essential services despite being located strategically among some counties.

"Something must be done to ensure the hospital is up and running," Mr Murigu said.

Although the hospital administration insisted that the training had necessitated the closure, staffers claimed that the facilities had been closed due to breakdown of equipment. As a result of the closure, patients seeking specialised treatment have continued flocking Consolata Mission Hospital Mathari.

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