Nyeri County Referral Hospital is in crisis after laundry machines at the facility broke down two weeks ago.
According to the County Assembly Health Services committee Chairman Stephen Mwaniki, the hospital staff has been ferrying laundry to Othaya Level Four Hospital, about 20km away, daily using county vehicles for wasging.
"So far we have established that the machines only need replacement of a small component at a cost of Sh170,000, but there have been no action to resolve the problem," Mwaniki said.
However, Nyeri Health Executive Charles Githinji said the required component costs Sh1 million. "We have already started the process of procuring a backup machine even as we seek ways of fixing the current laundry machines which are very old," he said.
Mr Githinji insisted that Othaya, Mukurweini and Karatina Level IV hospitals were currently fitted with state-of-the-art laundry machines.
"It is unsafe for the staff to clean the linen by hand and the rationale behind sending the dirty linen to Othaya is because it has a limited workload," he said.
Githinji said the county government will address the problem in the next one month so as to restore the services.
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The hospital serves Nyeri County residents and also those referred to he facility from neighbouring counties for specialised treatment.
A visit by The Standard to the facility also revealed that the CT scan machine has been out of operation for two years and patients are forced to go to private clinics.
The equipment was procured by the national government sometime before the onset of devolution.
Lucy Wangu, a patient at the facility, was referred to a private clinic for the scan.
"We waited for two hours for an ambulance to take Wangu to a private clinic where they charged us Sh6,500. We did not have the money and had to fundraise," said her cousin, Carol Wakio.
Health Chief Officer Peter Munyua said the CT scan machine requires a spare part which costs Sh6.5 million.
"We had indicated in the 2016-17 budget the need to buy the CT scan component but due to the stalemate between the assembly and the executive, there is nothing we can do until funds are provided," Dr Munyua said.