Anguish for patients in Kisumu, Kisii after health workers strike

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Health workers in Kisumu march on the streets. Photo/PD/FILE

Viola Kosome and Robert Ochoro

Patients in Kisumu who cannot afford medical services at private hospitals have now resorted to seeking treatment at facilities in neighbouring counties due to the ongoing strike by health workers that entered the eighth day yesterday.

A spot check by People Daily at the Kisumu County Hospital found empty beds and wards.

The usually packed waiting benches remained unoccupied and nearly all rooms locked. 

Only Ward Five, which hosts psychiatry patients, was partially in operation as they waited for patients’ kin to relocate them.

A psychiatrist nurse in the ward, who sought anonymity, said the ward usually carries between 40 and 50 patients but more than half had been released.

“Only 14 patients are remaining here. We have contacted their families and we hope they will be picked as soon as possible,” she said. 

So bad is the situation that on Sunday evening, Beldine Achieng, who is expectant with her first child, was forced to seek alternative help after the Kisumu County Hospital declined to admit her due to the strike. 

The first-time mother-to-be was forced to traverse the city looking for a hospital to deliver her baby, a move that saw  her  being admitted to Nightingale Hospital, a private facility in the outskirts of the city.

Joyce Nyamori, whose mother-in-law was admitted at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and discharged last week, says she was still in pain at the time of discharge.

He said her mother- in-law who was suffering from arthritis has not been in good shape and they fear losing her anytime but are optimistic that God will see them through.

In Kisii, the medics downed tools to protest delays in their salary payments. Nurses, clinicians and lab technicians said they have not received salaries for three months and lacked fare to their work stations.  

In a statement, County Clinicians Union Secretary, Victor Bwanchete said the Executive has been giving false pledges, stressing they had run out of patience.

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