Kenyatta Hospital tightens visitation rules

Tuesday July 14 2020
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Medics and a journalists go inside the isolation wards at Kenyatta National Hospital's infectious disease unit on April 17, 2020. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Aggrey Omboki

The management of Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has tightened restrictions on visitors accessing the facility in a bid to protect its staff and patients from coronavirus.

In a circular dated July 10 signed by KNH chief executive Dr Evanson Kamuri, the largest referral facility in East and Central Africa has now closed its doors to people visiting patients in groups. 

Patients will only be allowed to have one visitor each. In addition, the visitors will only be permitted to see patients after being contacted by the hospital first. 

“Only one relative per patient will be allowed access to facilitate the purpose of addressing specific patient request such as blood or organ donation, payment of bills or discharge from the hospital,” said Dr Kamuri.

He added that all visitors to the hospital will be required to sanitise their hands, practice basic hygiene, wear a mask and observe social distancing rules.



In the new rules, visitors to the facility will no longer be allowed to see patients if they are not family members.

Further, visitors will only be allowed into the wards with the aim of receiving and fulfilling specific requests by the patients.

“Patient visitation is not allowed. Only family and relatives of patients who have been expressly contacted by the hospital will be allowed access for purposes of facilitating specific requests on patient care, among them blood or organ donations, payment of bills, and discharge of patients,” Dr Kamuri said.

He said the restrictions have been tightened after management realised that visitors were flouting laid down regulations. 

“We have noted with concern the steady rise in the number of visitors accessing the hospital against the set restrictions,” Dr Kamuri said.

The facility’s decision also comes in the wake of increasing cases of health workers contracting Covid-19, with 188 cases so far reported in the country.

Focus has now shifted to ensuring that staff and patients are protected from infection, especially through contact with infected but asymptomatic individuals.