COUNTY REFUSED TO ADMIT HIM

Bungoma man with virus-like symptoms sent to Nairobi

19-year-old had returned from Switzerland, with high temperature

In Summary

• He had travelled from Switzerland to JKIA via Dubai before taking another flight to Kisumu, finally travelling to Mumias using a matatu.

• He was admitted to Life Care Hospital, which later transferred him to Mbagathi, Nairobi, after it apparently panicked.

Sirisia politician Moses Nandalwe distributes sanitiser to residents in Lwakhakha Grounds, Bungoma, on March 17.
BATTLING VIRUS: Sirisia politician Moses Nandalwe distributes sanitiser to residents in Lwakhakha Grounds, Bungoma, on March 17.
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

A patient with Covid-19-like symptoms was rejected by Bungoma facilities, requiring his transfer to Mbagathi Hospital, Nairobi.

The transfer raised questions over the county's preparedness to tackle Covid-19.

The 19-year-old patient had checked in at the Life Care Hospital on Monday night. He had travelled from Switzerland to JKIA via Dubai before taking another flight to Kisumu and finally used a matatu to proceed to his Mumias home near the Kakamega-Bungoma border.

While at home, he started coughing and sneezing. He had a fever of 39 degrees Celsius.

He was rushed to Life Care on a motorbike. The facility is in Bungoma even though his home is in Kakamega county. Medics said his symptoms were coronavirus-related.

The response team suggested he be quarantined. It directed the facility to hold him until he is tested. Bungoma medical superintendent, Dr  David Wanikina, told the Star they do not isolate suspected cases.

We have discovered most private facilities have not sent their staff for training, which is risky.
Dr David Wanikina, Bungoma medical superintendent

"Our quarantine centre at Webuye is only for the confirmed cases and not suspected cases. We don’t have the capacity to have all suspected cases," he said.

He said they only have a bed capacity of 14 and taking all suspected cases would be unmanageable. Wanikina said they instructed Life Care to hold the patient until his sample testing was returned.

Instead, the facility panicked and transferred the patient to Nairobi.

Medical superintendent Wanakina said, "We call on private health facilities to train their staff on the standard practice of dealing with the pandemic. We have discovered most of them have not sent their staff for training — which is risky."
He urged private health facilities to support the fight against the coronavirus.

(Edited by V Graham)