Hospital state divides county’s top leadership

By: MANASE OTSIALO

The county leadership is sharply divided over the state of the referral hospital even as patients continue to suffer.

Mandera Woman Representative Fathia Mahbub said the most affected were women at the maternity wing of the biggest hospital in the county.

She said it recorded six deaths in a week.

“There is a lot of public outcry over services provided here. The hospital is in a pathetic state and we must intervene very quickly to save lives,” Ms Mahbub said during an inspection of the hospital on Saturday.

She said it was unfortunate that the hospital was in a bad state three years after services were devolved, adding that the hospital lacked essential facilities.

“The referral hospital has only one oxygen tank and we believe this is what led to the infants’ deaths,” Ms Mahbub added.

Ms Mahbub further said the hospital lacked toilets and the staff usually went home to relieve themselves leaving patients to suffer for hours.

She called on Governor Ali Roba’s administration to buy a modern generator for the hospital in order to address frequent power shortages.

“The county health department has a budget of Sh1.6 billion but we need more resources,” the Woman Rep said.

BOARD DISSOLVED

Mandera County Secretary Adan Okash criticised Ms Mahbub’s comments and demanded to know who gave her permission to visit and inspect the hospital.

Health Executive Ahmed Sheikh said the MP’s visit was political.

“We inherited a rundown hospital but the situation has improved. We have hired health workers and are still doing so. Reports of infants’ deaths are exaggerated and aimed at giving political mileage to certain people,” Mr Sheikh said.

He added that the county government had dissolved the hospital’s management board after complaints from the public.

“We have only recorded three infant deaths in the past three months and they resulted from medical complications and not negligence or lack of facilities as some people are claiming,” he said.

Mr Sheikh added that the hospital had enough oxygen supply.

More than 10 MCAs accompanied Ms Mahbub and expressed displeasure with services at the hospital.

Mr Yukub Emoi (Banisa Ward) wanted to know what the Sh4 million for free maternity services given to the hospital by the national government had done.

“Apart from the county assembly allocating the health department Sh1.6 billion, we must be told where the Sh.4 million for free maternity was taken. It is not fair to say that the money was used to motivate nurses,” Mr Emoi said.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION