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Kisumu patients in agony as doctors' strike persists 

Wednesday July 08 2020
PIX

Judith Akinyi at her Port Florence Community Hospital bed in Kisumu County on June 7, 2020. PHOTO | ELIZABETH OJINA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ELIZABETH OJINA     

Judith Akinyi, 38, checked in at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisumu, following a severe stomach ache on Monday afternoon.

The problem began the previous two weeks.

Ms Akinyi had before that visited Avenue Hospital but doctors found no problem with her.

She was rushed to the referral hospital when her condition deteriorated.

An X-ray showed an ectopic pregnancy. The clinician attending to Akinyi told her family that she required urgent surgery.

“We were shocked to be told to transfer her to a private hospital because doctors were on strike,” Ms Akinyi’s sister Mary Odondo said.

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The patient was eventually taken to Port Florence Community Hospital in Otonglo, for the surgery.

According to Dr Marvin Oluoch, the patient’s fallopian tube had ruptured and was bleeding. She was attended to in time.

“She is likely be discharged after three days,” Dr Olouch said.

Some patients have not been as lucky as Ms Akinyi, though.

Many families do not have enough money to take their sick loved ones to private hospitals.

Strikes by medical workers in Kisumu have become very common, with the most recent one that has lasted a month.

The lives of such patients are at a risk as the Governor Anyang Nyong’o-led devolved government fights with doctors over a myriad of issues.

The doctors have insisted on remaining on strike until the county government fulfils their demands.

The referral hospital cannot admit patients since doctors are on strike.

“We are really constrained. We can handle some patients but admissions are out of question for now because of the strike,” hospital chief executive Peter Okoth told the Nation.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentist Union wants the devolved government to settle doctors’ salaries and promote deserving ones.

KMPDU Nyanza branch chairman Kevin Osuri said doctors should be paid promotion arrears backdated to July 2019.

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