Nakuru hospitals grapple with crisis

Thursday May 10 2018

Kenya Red Cross volunteers collects data at Bahati Sub-County Hospital in Nakuru on May 10, 2018. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Hospitals in Nakuru were overwhelmed as they struggled to handle the high number of patients brought in following the Patel Dam tragedy on Wednesday night.

Some of the patients were taken to Bahati Level Four hospital while others were rushed to Nakuru Level Five.


By 2am, Bahati Level Four Hospital was declared full, forcing some of the survivors to share beds as they received treatment.

The county government had to recall medics who were off duty to help in handling the high number of survivors.

Ambulances on standby from the Kenya Red Cross, Nakuru County government and other rescue units had to transfer some patients to Nakuru Level Five Hospital to create space for more.


However, the level five hospital medical superintendent Joseph Mburu said 13 survivors were treated and discharged by Thursday morning.

Dr Mburu said the remaining four patients were in critical but stable condition.

“Three of the patients who suffered fractures will be going to the theater anytime,” said Dr Mburu yesterday.

The bodies retrieved were taken to Nakuru County mortuary where they are awaiting identification by family members. More than 450 families have been affected by the tragedy.

Rescue efforts were led by County Disaster Management team, police and the Kenya Red Cross. Also, at least 200 Kenya Defence Forces personnel from the barracks in Lanet and Gilgil also took part in the rescue mission. 

Pius Mzee was chatting with his wife and four children in their house located about 5km from the dam after having supper when raging waters came sweeping their homestead.

He said he tried running away with his two daughters, aged four and six, but was overpowered by the storm waters.

“My wife was with two children and immediately it happened, I could not trace them. Up to now, I do not know where they are,” he told the Nation from his hospital bed at Nakuru Level Five Hospital. James Njung’e, who is recuperating at the hospital’s ward 10, was also caught unawares by the tragedy.

He said he was in their house in Solai centre, with his two parents and niece when the disaster struck.

“We were having an evening chat when the water had made its way into the house and broke the door and we were all swept away,” he said.

For 25-year-old George Wanjala, it was a normal evening with his young family at their Solai centre home.

The father of three said he heard a loud bang , but before he could find out what was going on, the water was already filling the house.