FILTHY FACILITY

Board declares neglected Kerugoya Hospital a health hazard

Hospital showed to have no proper waste management system, blocked sewers

In Summary

•The wards and the compound are the breeding grounds of houseflies 

•A nurse is said to have contracted hepatitis B due to poor sanitation

•The leadership structure found to be dysfunctional and out of touch with reality

Kerugoya County Referral Hospital .Photo/file
Kerugoya County Referral Hospital .Photo/file

Kerugoya County Referral Hospital is a health hazard, according to a medical inspection report.

All basic test machines have broken down.

The report, signed by Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board chief executive Daniel Yumbya, paints a scary image of the rot at the referral facility.

All its basic tests machines are broken down while the wards and compound are the breeding ground of houseflies.

The report indicts hospital officials for negligent.

A nurse recently contracted hepatitis B at the facility. 

The MPDB led a joint regulatory bodies' inspection of the facility last Sunday. The team found the leadership structure to be dysfunctional and out of touch with reality. 

The hospital head was an absent and uncooperative official who even "lied about being away and showed up at around 5pm inebriated" during the inspection. 

Administrator Ceasar Arthur Kamau also showed up in the afternoon and "appeared to be out of touch with the reality on the ground".

The hospital's laboratory is grounded and incapable of performing basic tests like full haemogram and urinalysis as the equipment is obsolete and the reagents such as Random Blood Sugar stripes are out of stock. 

 
 
 

Patients seeking lab services are referred to private hospitals where they are required to pay upfront before being served. 

The hospital's blood bank is also depleted, with relatives required to donate blood to their kin in the wards. 

The report indicates that the facility can easily be mistaken for a dingy slum house with a leaking roof. The sewer system, especially at the maternity wing, is blocked. 

"The flush systems of most toilets were out of order, requiring patients to pour water after use. Blood-stained walls and floors were predominantly seen in the wards," it says. 

The report shows a shortage of support staff at the facility arising from the executive action of the county governor Anne Waiguru that saw 77 out 89 staff laid off. The shortfall is reported to have made the facility dirtier and more unhealthy. 

There was dirty linen all over the ward floor and compound with flies hovering over them, it says. In some cases, inpatient mothers in the maternity wards were cleaning themselves. 

Specialised officers such as consultants, clinical officers, nursing staff, public health officers, and pharmacists are not enough to attend to patients. It also does not have a biomedical engineer. 

The report also shows a lack of a proper waste management system with an arbitrary mix-up of different categories of wastes. 

"The coded bin system was not being used at the facility," the report says.  

Worse still, waste materials including sharp objects were either burnt or buried as the hospital does not have an incinerator. The place where the waste is buried is adjacent to a residential area and not fenced off, exposing people to further public health hazards.

The doctors' rooms are dilapidated, without electricity and lack internet connectivity. 

The report, copied to hospital manager, Governor Anne Waiguru and Health CS Sicily Kariuki recommends disciplinary and administrative punishment for manager Gideon Mburu among other senior officials.

It also recommends that admissions be suspended until sanitation, drainage, waste management and electricity are restored.  

Waiguru blames her political detractors for the mess to sabotage her governance. 

She said after visiting the facility that six senior county officers in the department of health have been suspended after being identified as being behind the crisis. They will face the disciplinary committee.

A task force headed by county secretary Joe Muriuki found that the suspects conspired with the governor's political opponents to sabotage the service delivery at the hospital. 

Waiguru, who was accompanied by her deputy Peter Ndambiri, county executive committee members and senior officers denied that a nurse had contracted hepatitis B.

She said that many of the issues raised by the MPDB were being dealt with, adding that 150 casual workers will be rehired to sort out the sanitation challenges in all county hospitals.

Her government, she said, has set aside Sh50 million to pay all casual workers sacked three weeks ago.

Waiguru said only genuine workers will be rehired and disclosed that a big number of those sent home were ghost workers.

She acknowledged that incinerators and driers for laundry had been a big challenge and promised that new ones would be bought. 

(Edited by R.Wamochie)