A massive power outage lasting about 24 hours hit Kericho County Referral Hospital at the weekend disrupting patient services.
Patients with burns, who stay in a heated ward because they are not required to cover themselves with blankets, endured a chilly night as those requiring oxygen relied on cylinders.
Officials at the hospital blamed the outage on a power distribution hitch as the public accused county officials of responding to the emergency slowly.
“This is an electric fault and we are working with the Kenya power to restore normalcy,” public relations officer of the hospital Timothy Kemei said early Saturday.
Kenya Power Regional Manager Daniel Kones in a statement said that power supply to hospital was alright on their part, noting that the problem was at the hospital take-up point for their own internal distribution.
“The problem is on hospital power distribution system from their central internal distribution point to their various facilities. However, the casualty unit supplied from old power distribution point is on supply,” said the engineer.
Kapsoit MCA Paul Chirchir Tarimbo, who went to the hospital following the outage, said it was perturbing that there was no hospital electrician on duty despite the hitch that endangered the lives of many.
Kericho residents expressed anger and disappointment at the county administration for failing to resolve the outage urgently or issuing an alert to send incoming patients to other hospitals.
“A hospital is a sensitive facility where critical machines should be checked and maintained regularly to prevent disasters,” said Gilbert Siele, a resident.
Following the blackout, further admission of patients was stopped and three infants who were at the incubator transferred to Kapkatet Sub-County Hospital.
There was no patient at the intensive care unit and the high dependency unit or the surgery room when power was disrupted, hospital officials said.