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January 17, 2019

JM Memorial Hospital is dying despite getting upgrade funds

A modern laboratory at J.M.Memorial hospital,Ol kalou,which has not been equipped
A modern laboratory at J.M.Memorial hospital,Ol kalou,which has not been equipped

JM Memorial Hospital in Ol kalou, Nyandarua county, is in bad shape, the county assembly has said.

The Health committee said the situation is so dire, a statement alone cannot suffice and it requested for more time to do a comprehensive report.

A statement was sought nominated member Wangari Methu on June 26. The assembly has in previous years set aside funds to upgrade the facility, improve human resource services, infrastructure, medical equipment and supplies.

Methu said residents have complained about the poor management and services, leading to a rise in mortality rates.

She asked the committee to name the hospital’s board members and their mandate. Methu also asked why the medical superintendent was changed and the process followed when appointing a new one.

She questioned if the facility provides services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, how many officers work in each department, and the shift rota for three months.

Methu also sought to know the specialist services offered and number of experts. Information is also saought about the number and type of laboratory tests done in a month and referrals from outside.

Also querried is the status of hygiene in the buildings, water supply within the wards, and the number of cleaners in the hospital. Methu also sought to know the status of the mortuary and the construction of the new one.

On July 5, the committee wrote to Deputy Governor Cecilia Mbuthia, who is the acting executive member for Health, seeking the information. She responded in a letter dated July 12.

She informed the committee the hospital has not had a board since April 1 following the expiry of the former group’s term.

This means no one offers general oversight for operations and management of the hospital. There is also no one to articulate and represent the local community interests in the local development forum.

Superintendent Jackson Macharia stepped down and Joram Muraya took over pending a substantive replacement. The statement does not indicate when and why this happened.

The statement indicates the facility offer 24-hour services, seven days a week in various departments but with “numerous challenges”. The challenges are not stated.

The hospital has a shortage of personnel. Twenty-three services, including pathology, haematology, oncology, inpatient psychiatry intensive care and renal services, with the exception of dialysis, are not offered due to lack of infrastructure, equipment and human resource. Reasons for referral were not available.

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