Private health facilities overwhelmed as nurses’ strike bite

The Sister’s Maternity Home (SIMAHO) an NGO sponsored facility that offers subsidized health services to residents of Garissa town, its environs and neighbouring Tana River County is now overstretched due to the ongoing nurses’ strike that entered its fifth day Friday.

The facility that offers mainly delivery services for a small fee is now handling over 15 cases on a daily basis as opposed to three before the strike started on Monday.

A spot check at the Garissa county referral hospital revealed that patients continue to be turned away, the latest being a rape victim from neighbouring Madogo in Tana River county who was rushed to the facility but had not been attended to 72 hours after the incident thereby jeopardizing the evidence.

On Wednesday morning a woman writhing in labour pains delivered inside a taxi after nurses at the facility declined to admit her.

According to SIMAHO director, Romana Noor, the facility has been forced to offer services outside its mandate due to the growing number of patients who are either leaving public health facilities or being turned away.

In Busia County the medical superintendent of the area’s Teaching and Referral hospital Steven Okech said they were only giving priority to emergency cases.

Okech added that patients who had suffered fractures were also being attended to while those in need of dressing and bed rest had to been discharged.

Patients who spoke to KNA asked the government to solve the stalemate in order to alleviate their suffering.

Meanwhile the chairman, Kenya Livestock Marketing Council, Dubat Amey has faulted the council of governor’s chair Josphat Nanok for asking his colleagues to take disciplinary action against the striking nurses.

Addressing the press in Garissa town, Amey said that the nurse’s strike cannot be resolved through threats.

Amey said that the governors should not fend their frustrations on the public because of their failure to deliver services by issuing threats to nurses ‘whose only crime is to demand for their rights’.

The governor should not offload their anger on nurses. If you have failed to deliver services to the electorate during your terms in office then find other ways of making amends, he added.

Source: Kenya News Agency