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Police letting us down on quack doctors, says medical team

Sunday November 11 2018

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists' Board CEO Daniel Yumbya.

Daniel Yumbya, the chief executive of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ANGELA OKETCH  
By ANGELA OKETCH  
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Failure to act on quack doctors has been blamed on lack of police reinforcement.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, while absolving itself from blame, said police have not been cooperating with them to fight the vice.

NO RESPONSE

The board's chief executive, Mr Daniel Yumbya, said they had, for instance, written twice to Inspector General Joseph Boinnet, through the Director of Criminal Investigation, requesting for police officers to be fully attached to the board to arrest rogue medics such as Mugo Wairimu.

The letters were written in April but they are yet to receive any response.

“Some clinics where these quacks operate are in insecure places that our officers cannot go to on their own. That is why we need police officers to accompany them,” Dr Yumbya said.

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In the letter, the board indicated that, as a regulatory law enforcement agency, it has various cases that require constant follow-up and investigation to ensure the culprits, including Mr Mugo, do not elude justice due to lack of evidence in court.

“With police officers on board, we can even make arrests at night. We must be very careful with the emerging trend of quacks purporting to practice medicine,” he said.

The board said the number of quack doctors is on the rise so the country needs to have a serious conversation on the matter to save lives.

SOLUTION NUMBER

Currently, the board is investigating over 30 people arrested for allegedly running unlicensed clinics.

As the board waits for a response on the request for police officers, it has come up with innovative ways to curb the vice.

These include a mobile solution number that enables patients to verify the status of medical facilities.

"Once a patient gets to a hospital, they should send the number of the facility to 20547. They will then get a response on whether the clinic is registered," said Mr Yumbya.