TUESDAY JULY 5 2016
By VIVIAN JEBET
More than 100 patients at Isiolo County Referral Hospital forwent lunch on Monday after the facility ran out of cooking gas.
A spot check by Nation revealed that only patients at the male, female and mental wards took breakfast.
Patients under medication were especially hard hit with some complaining that they felt dizzy after taking drugs without having had lunch.
Only patients with relatives who live nearby were lucky to have been brought food from home.
However, at about 7:30pm on Monday, patients were eventually served supper after the hospital purchased charcoal.
County Health director Mollu Huka confirmed that patients forwent lunch, saying the problem was caused by a supplier who delayed providing cooking gas to the facility.
“We decided to purchase charcoal when we realised it was too late,” said Mr Huka.
At the same time, medical workers have threatened to down their tools soon after Eid al-Fitr celebrations to protest poor working conditions and failure by the county government to address the plight of patients at the facility.
According to the reinstated Isiolo medical superintendent Abdikadir Mohammud, the hospital has failed to provide crucial services for patients under treatment.
“We are going to protest against the inhumane act by the county government, we cannot work in this condition or allow our mothers to lose lives while watching,” Dr Mohammud said.
Dr Mohammud who was on a tour of the hospital’s laboratory showed the press 16 units of blood donated by locals that have expired, claiming the facility failed to send the samples for screening on time.
But Mr Huka denied the claim, clarifying that only eight units for blood group A and B had expired since they were cross-matched for a patient who later recovered.
Reportedly, the hospital also continues to record cases of maternal deaths with the latest incident happening last Saturday due to alleged lack of blood.
However, Mr Huka said the hospital lacked blood group O which the patient required.
Last month, another woman died due to lack of blood while giving birth.
Dr Mohammud said the maternity wing lacks vital equipment used during birth.
“At the moment, two mothers at the maternity wing are in great danger due to lack of blood and a referral system to allow them transfer to another facility,” warned Dr Mohammud.
TANA RIVER COUNTY
Two months ago, in a similar incident, over 60 patients at Ngao District Hospital in Garsen, Tana River County, were in danger of starving after suppliers withdrew their services over unpaid bills.
Officials who spoke to Nation during that crisis, said the situation was so bad that the hospital had to transfer about 20 cholera patients to Shirikisho Centre because the facility had no food.
(Editing by Joel Muinde)