There are growing concerns over the poor state of health facilities in Baringo County, even as the once-functioning Baringo County Hospital in Kabarnet town deteriorates to a point patients seek medical services in neighbouring counties.
Some hospitals are staring at closure, a move that may leave Baringo residents at the mercy of either accessing medical services in private hospitals or neighbouring counties such as Nakuru or Uasin Gishu.
In some facilities like the county hospital in Kabarnet town, the CT scan, which was procured in 2016, broke down in November 2021 and is yet to be fixed forcing patients to travel to Iten County at their expense and wait for results to be emailed to the facility.
Residents interviewed by the Standard claimed some critically ill patients are forced to seek services some 100 kilometers away in Uasin Gishu County.
“Last month I was forced to take my grandmother for medication to Iten Hospital due to lack of CT scan, eventually she passed on but I believed if the service was available, the medics would have diagnosed her early,” said Caleb Kiprotich.
Kiprotich believed that his grandmother, who was diabetic would have been alive if the CT scan was available to determine some complications she had.
The former Silale Member of County Assembly Nelson Lotela lamented that dispensaries and Sub-county hospitals in Tiaty lack key medication.
Lotela calls on Governor Benjamin Chebou to rescue the crippling healthcare system by ensuring that they have essential equipment and medicine.
The poor state of healthcare services in the county has seen resident vent their anger on social media where they have expressed their disappointment with how the county government was handling healthcare.
They have even demanded that health services be reverted back to the national government claiming that the current administration was unable to manage it.
Yesterday, a video resurfaced online of a medic allegedly at Torongo Health Care who reported to appeared to have reported to work drunk.
He was captured chasing away two students who had gone to seek services at the facility.
Nick Korir, a resident, urged the county leadership take its responsibility serious to ensure that services are delivered as per the health act, instead of begging to be served.
“The problem at Baringo County Hospital and other facilities across the county are a threat to the health of the community,” he added.
He claimed that the facilities have been plagued by problems for years, regime after regime with issues ranging from lack of essential medical supplies, inadequate staffing, and outdated equipment among others remaining to be a crisis.
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The problem, he said, has led to a decline in the quality of healthcare at many facilities, with patients waiting for hours to be attended to or even turned away due to a lack of necessary supplies.
He accused the county government of turning a blind eye to the problem facing the sector by failing to take drastic measures in addressing the issues.
Mundulel Bett, from Eldama Ravine, said the situation in health facilities is a wake-up call for the locals to strategize and understand what needs to be done in solving the menace.
“The blame going on is not good, it is unfortunate that some of the leaders are planning to transfer patients outside Baringo, it is unfortunate because it will make the locals lose hope and faith in our facilities, instead of helping in restoring the health facilities to the best status,” he said.
Mundule was reacting to a message allegedly posted by the Baringo First Lady saying that she will join others in ferrying the patients from Baringo Hospital to Iten.
The County Executive Committee Health Solomon Sirma confirmed that the hospital has been referring CT scan patients to Iten Hospital alleging the machine will be repaired within the next one month.
“We depend on KEMSA who give us 50 per cent of what we have procured which we subsidize with private suppliers once in a while which we did about a month ago, but we are in the process of ordering another consignment depending on the consumption,” he said.
Sirma explained that the hospital has been transferring patients in need of a neuron surgeon which is not offered in the facility.
He stated that his department is working on improving service delivery in the hospital which has been down for a long time.
“We had a meeting with medics who raised their challenges faced in our facilities. Some can be sought locally with others requiring long term but we are working on it,” he added.