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February 16, 2019

Equip county hospitals to handle emergencies

The wreckage of the bus the pupils of St. Gabriel were travelling in. /COURTESY
The wreckage of the bus the pupils of St. Gabriel were travelling in. /COURTESY

It is saddening and heartbreaking when so many young lives are lost in one blow on account of the ever increasing road accidents in our country.

Our heart goes out to the parents, relatives and friends of the St Gabriel's Academy pupils who perished in the grisly road accident on Saturday night on the Thika-Garissa road. 

Many more were injured and rushed by road to the Kenyatta National Hospital and Nairobi Hospital, 172 kilometres away for treatment. We wish them quick recovery.

A number of the county hospitals are currently classified as Level 5 and are expected to provide specialised care, including intensive care, life support and specialist treatment. 

But unfortunately in the event of a road accident, they are found wanting because they are ill-equipped and have no capacity to handle an emergency. Kenyatta, which is already overstretched, ends up with the patients.

There have been plans to equip hospitals in key towns along major highways with known black spots. What happened to this?

Counties, not too long ago, were forced by the national government to acquire expensive machines most of which lie idle gathering dust.

It is better to have them pooled and installed in key regional hospitals than scattered where they are underutilised.

KNH cannot be the destination for all major emergencies. Counties must hire experts and equip their hospitals to save lives.

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