Governor Guyo, Dullo clash over Isiolo county health facilities

Isiolo Governor Abdi Guyo. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A Senate committee, probing the state of health facilities in Isiolo County, is on the brink of a standoff between Isiolo Governor Abdi Guyo and county Senator Fatuma Dullo.

This is after Guyo failed to appear before the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday, May 22, despite being summoned to discuss the state of the Isiolo County Referral Hospital mortuary.

The committee, led by Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago, had requested a statement from Governor Guyo in response to Senator Dullo’s inquiries about the facility’s condition and the county’s remedial actions.

Governor Guyo, however, was absent and instead submitted written responses via his County Secretary Dade Boru, detailing the mortuary’s state. The committee insisted on his personal appearance.

“I direct that Governor Guyo appears before this committee on Tuesday next week. The issue we want to discuss is how the government is going to turn around the situation at the morgue,” Mandago said.

Senator Dullo, present at the meeting, criticised Guyo’s administration, alleging a decline in the county’s healthcare facilities.

“I appeal for the help of this committee to ensure that the people of Isiolo get services. From the statement, you can see that the issues raised are weighty but the county seems not serious,” she said.

Dullo revealed that one of the county’s facilities had been closed due to an electricity disconnection.

 She also highlighted the county’s failure to submit statutory deductions for staff under the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover and the lack of functional ambulances for patients.

She urged the committee to undertake a fact-finding mission in the county.

“Pregnant women have been forced to walk for several kilometres because subcounty hospitals are not functional,” Dullo stated.

In response, Guyo refuted Dullo’s allegations, asserting that he had ensured the facilities were operating optimally.

“The Senator is becoming a perennial liar. All the facilities are in working condition and I have actually strived to ensure that they are better than when I took over office,” Guyo told The Standard.

“I agree with the Senator that the committee should come down to Isiolo for a fact-finding mission to assess the state of these facilities and bear witness to what we have accomplished,” he added.

Tension has been simmering between the county Chief and the Senator since the former took office, with their rivalry frequently playing out in public.

In March, the two clashed over Isiolo county audit queries raised by the Senate County Public Accounts Committee (CPAC).

Guyo found himself in a difficult position after failing to appear before the committee, which had made a site visit to his county. He later accused Dullo of using the watchdog committee to fight him.

In response, Dullo claimed that the Governor was falsely using her name and politicising accountability.

With the race for the 2027 Isiolo gubernatorial seat quickly taking shape, a clash is now imminent between the two when the governor appears before the House team next week.

According to a letter by County Secretary Dade Boru to the Senate, Isiolo County Referral Hospital morgue is struggling under the weight of unclaimed bodies that continue to pile up.

 With a capacity to accommodate only 12 bodies, the facility is currently holding 33 bodies, 21 more than the recommended limit.

During a site visit by The Standard in March, Isiolo county Medical Services Chief Abdirahman Ibrahim revealed that the facility is the only one in the county and plays host to victims of bandit attacks, road accident casualties, still births and bodies of people who’ve met their natural deaths.

"This is the only mortuary serving Isiolo, Marsabit and parts of Samburu. Bodies collected by the police are brought here,” said Ibrahim.

“We only have four refrigerators to preserve the 12 bodies. I’m sure you can now understand how dire the situation is,” he added.

The chief officer further explained that as a result of the piling up of bodies and them going unclaimed, they had experienced a frequent breakdown of the very machines meant to preserve the bodies.

The medical services chief officer revealed that the Governor Abdi Guyo-led county had already tendered for the repair of the machines that preserve the bodies at a cost of Sh10 million with the works expected to commence soon.

“The tender we awarded is of Sh10 million. It is meant to service and expand the existing machines and incorporate new ones that can accommodate 16 bodies,” he said.

Ibrahim further noted that plans were in top gear to put up a stand-alone, fully equipped morgue in order to allow the current one to continue serving the referral hospital.

 

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