Supplies crisis forces hospital to ask patients to buy blankets

Wednesday January 20 2016

Nandi County Governor Cleophas Lagat second (right) talks to some of the victims of the lethal drinks that killed 13 people leaving several others hospitalized at Kapsabet County Referral Hospital on July 12, 2014. Patients at the hospital have been using tattered blankets and are now being told to purchase their own bedding. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Nandi County Governor Cleophas Lagat second (right) talks to some of the victims of the lethal drinks that killed 13 people leaving several others hospitalized at Kapsabet County Referral Hospital on July 12, 2014. Patients at the hospital have been using tattered blankets and are now being told to purchase their own bedding. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By TOM MATOKE
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A hospital in Nandi County is asking patients to buy their own blankets as a supplies crisis continues to bite.

Patients at the Kapsabet County Referral Hospital have been using tattered blankets and now have to purchase their own bedding.

This comes at a time 1,000 nurses last Friday issued a 14-day strike notice over salaries, allowances, promotions and lack of protective gear.

The nurses criticised the county government for failing to provide blankets to patients.

Health workers on Tuesday said they were being asked to advise those who take their loved ones for treatment at the hospital to buy blankets which they are later allowed to take home when the patients are discharged.

The county’s health chief officer, Dr Edward Serem, confirmed the situation saying: “It is true that hospitals in the country have no linen. The county government has, however, made an order for new blankets. We assure patients that by the end of this month, the situation will have improved.”

NATIONAL TREASURY

Dr Serem blamed the delay in supplies on the late release of county funds by the National Treasury.

The county’s 147 health facilities are also facing a shortage of drugs.

On Sunday, Chesumei MP Elijah Lagat visited the Kapsabet Hospital and found patients covered with tattered blankets.

He accused the county government’s health officials of sleeping on the job.

“What action is the governor taking when patients admitted to hospitals sleep without blankets while staff are working under poor conditions and not getting promoted?” asked Mr Lagat.

The lawmaker said the regional government should employ more nurses on permanent basis to curb the exodus of health staff.

Dr Serem asked the health workers to call off the strike as their grievances were being addressed.

“Health workers in Nandi should ignore the strike call and wait for the County Public Service Board to address the issue of their promotions, which will be implemented as from next month,” said Dr Serem.