Lack of ambulances at Isiolo hospital hampering emergency services

Health Committee chairman Salesio Kiambi said the county government bought ‘faulty’ ambulances.

Tuesday February 9 2016

One of the grounded ambulances at the Isiolo

One of the grounded ambulances at the Isiolo Referral Hospital. Only two of the hospital's nine ambulances are currently functional, greatly hampering the provision of emergency services. PHOTO | VIVIAN JEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The Isiolo Referral Hospital has unreliable emergency services as only two of its nine ambulances are currently functional.

This has led to patients requiring emergency services suffering long delays with some even dying before they reach the hospital, according to the Medical Superintendent Mohammud Abdikadir

Emergency cases and victims of accidents on the Isiolo-Marsabit road are usually rushed to the hospital for first aid treatment hence the need for more ambulances.

Dr Abdikadir also attributed the high number of maternal deaths to the shortage of ambulances.

He said they have been forced to use taxis to transport doctors and nurses on night calls since there is no utility vehicle.

“We usually pay Sh2,000 every night for doctors to come and review patients while the two functional ambulances are out for emergencies in far flung areas,” said Dr Abdikadir.

Two weeks ago, an infant was still-born after a woman from Merti Sub-County which is 200km from Isiolo Town arrived at the hospital late because there was no ambulance.


“The mechanic who services our vehicles has not been paid for one year,” said Dr Abdikadir.

County Assembly Health Committee chairman Salesio Kiambi said the county government bought ‘faulty’ ambulances.

The Wabera Ward MCA called for investigations into the company given tenders to supply the ambulances.

“The company conned us because the ambulances were bought and broke down within months,” said Mr Kiambi.

Cherab MCA Hassan Kumpa said a huge amount of the budget was allocated to the health docket but poor planning by officials had led to the deterioration of the health sector.

“The ambulances were substandard, its maximum speed is 50Km/hr, with that speed will it save a life?” posed Mr Kumpa.

During the unveiling of the 2015-2016 financial year budget, Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo said the county had allocated Sh724 million to health sector to improve services, promote maternal health and to procure drugs and medical equipment.