CEC reacts to criticism over ‘high rate’ of deaths at referral hospital

The Kwale County Health Executive, Francis Gwama has refuted claims of deaths at Msambweni Referral Hospital due to medical negligence.

Gwama dismissed the allegations as baseless and misleading saying they are meant to tarnish the name of the hospital and its staff.

He was reacting to complaints by some residents that three patients died at the facility recently after spending days unattended.

They included two women, one who died after giving birth, and a 24-year-old man who succumbed to severe burns, something Mr. Gwama admitted to.

I am aware of the three cases but there is no iota of truth in the allegations. They are aimed at undermining the good work being done by our staff, he said.

It’s true the deaths occurred one after the other but not out of negligence by our staff who did their level best to save the lives of the patients, he added.

The Executive denied that the maternal death was due to a botched delivery clarifying that the woman reported to the hospital late and already bleeding.The baby survived but we lost the mother due to birth complications, Gwama noted.

According to him, the matter was probed to see if the right procedures were followed in all the three cases. There was no delay in attending to the patients as alleged, he said.

Gwama said the county government is committed to delivery of quality health services and asked locals to appreciate the efforts.

A resident, Hassan Chitembe however, accused the hospital staff of laxity and negligence. It is sad to see the staff taking too long to attend to patients yet they are paid to serve the public selflessly. Action must be taken to stop this outrageous dereliction of duty, said the former councilor for Mkongani in the defunct Kwale County Council.

Locals have persistently been complaining of deterioration of services at the hospital. Sometime back, it was reported that patients were sharing beds with bodies due to congestion.

It has also emerged that the multi-million shilling medical equipment leased to the hospital by the national government is underutilized due to lack of specialists.

Also facing operational challenges due to lack of specialist nurses, are the dialysis machines, renal and intensive care unit installed by the county government.

A nursing officer at the renal unit, Omar Mafimbo was recently reported saying that they are faced with a shortage of staff, though the national and county governments are working to solve the problem.

Source: Kenya News Agency