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Suba North locals protest change of hospital into Covid-19 isolation centre

By James Omoro | July 19th 2020

Residents of Kaswanga village in Suba North constituency protest against closure of Tom Mboya Level 4 hospital which has now been changed into a Covid-19 isolation centre. [James Omoro, Standard]

Residents of Kaswanga village in Suba North constituency have protested the conversion of Tom Mboya Level Four Hospital into a Covid-19 isolation centre.

Led by Joshua Ogola and Walter Pundo, the residents said the closure of the facility will affect the provision of healthcare services.

They expressed concerns that patients had been referred to seek health services in some of the health facilities such as Sindo, Mbita and Kirindo which are not easily accessible.

Pundo argued that the hospital serves many people with many ailments including high blood pressure, HIV and other complicated infections.

“Closing this hospital will lead to more sufferings and deaths from other ailments. There are people who suffer from HIV but today they cannot walk into a health facility to receive ARV drugs,” said Pundo.

“We want the county government to provide a section of the hospital where residents can get medical care. Closing this hospital will kill many of us,” said Ogola.

On Tuesday, Kaswanga residents staged protests at the gate of the hospital to express their disillusionment.

Millicent Atieno said the decision will also affect immunisation of children.

 However, Homa Bay health executive Richard Muga said they could not allow the hospital to serve as both Covid-19 isolation centre and treatment of other illness.

“We cannot allow the hospital to serve as an isolation facility and at the same time provide the usual health services because it can lead to widespread of the coronavirus,” said Muga.

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