Health facilities have made headlines recently for all the wrong reasons. They have changed from being medical service providers to dying zones.
In January last year, allegations of Kenyatta National Hospital staff sexually assaulting patients in the maternity wards emerged, though after investigation it was termed to be untrue. The following month, CCTV footage was released by police showing a woman accused of stealing a three-week-old twin baby.
That March, surgeons did brain surgery on a patient who only required nursing and medication for a head swelling.
Last week, 11 babies at KNH newborn unit died of suspected bacterial infection. The nurses are said to improvise for feeding babies, who also share cots.
Last September, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko discovered 12 infant corpses at Pumwani Maternity Hospital with mothers alleging neglect by nurses.
In March this year, Kerugoya County Referral Hospital was reported to have poor working and patients environment.
Due to rise of such cases, Kenyans might lose trust in public health facilities. The Ministry of Health and the hospitals’ management should check on the status of the facilities, improve the working environment, provide equipment, hire workers who are well trained and are of good conduct.
Ministry officials should also be making regular inspection visits to the facilities. In case of any issues arising, the ministry should hold the people in charge accountable for the mistakes and take action against them.
Gaylord Mugonyi, Nairobi