Board revokes hospital’s Covid licence after vaccination drama

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021 00:00 |
Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union chief executive officer Dr Daniel Yumbya at a past event. Photo/PD/FILE

Controversy surrounding the controversial Covid-19 vaccination exercise in Gatanga, Murang’a county escalated yesterday when the regulator suspended the licence of a private clinic to offer the vaccines.  

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union had earlier yesterday revoked the operating licence of  Ruai Family Hospital from where the vaccines administered during the controversial exercise last weekend were obtained.

The revocation was, however, lifted but the hospital was stopped from administering Covid-19 jabs.

In a letter from the board’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Daniel Yumbya, RHF was accused of contravening rules and regulations governing Covid 19 management by diverting the vaccines meant for use at the hospital under unclear circumstances.

The letter further warned that the vaccination exercise was conducted in an uncontrolled environment where the quality and efficacy of the vaccine could not be ascertained and thus endangering public safety.

Separately, Murang’a County Commissioner  Fredrick Ndunga said the area assistant chief where the exercise took place has been interdicted, with more disciplinary measures set to be taken against others who took place in the exercise.

Keep off 

Ndunga said the matter is under investigations and all those involved in the vaccination exercise have been summoned to record statements with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

 The administrator said he learnt about the exercise a day after photos started circulating on social media.

 “We want to know where the vaccines came from because no private entities or individuals are allowed to be in their possession,” he said.

 “Politicians should keep off the vaccination exercise as this is the responsibility of the government to ensure the members of the public get the jab,” he said.  

The crackdown intensified as the politician at the centre of the exercise claimed he was being victimised because of his links with Deputy President William Ruto.

Edward Muriu, who is eyeing the Gatanga parliamentary seat in the 2022 election on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket said he was being attacked because of his political affiliation.

“I am the Secretary of UDA party but we should not drag politics into such a sensitive matter,” said Muriu.

On Tuesday, the hospital disowned the vaccination exercise, saying it never sanctioned it.

It instead blamed one of its former staff for the debacle, accusing her of colluding with the aspirant to facilitate the exercise.

“The said exercise in Murang’a was not sanctioned by the hospital or its leadership. Management has since called the staff for her statement.

She confirms that she was not under any direct authority to take part in the exercise but did so on her own volition.

A tally of our vaccine allocation from Dandora depot confirms that 160 doses of what was meant for the hospital for public vaccination was used in the exercise,” it further stated.  

 The vaccination exercise, which was branded in Muriu’s campaign posters and UDA colours, drew the attention of the Government with Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe warning politicians against politicising the Covid-19 vaccination exercise for their own political gains.

Kagwe also prohibited the issuance of vaccines outside Government designated facilities saying that this might be fatal.

Disciplinary action

He termed it as regrettable, that some people are taking political advantage of a serious issue, a situation he said was not only immoral, unacceptable but also disturbing.

“It is really the worst and the lowest that an individual can get to. I want to urge the political class of whatever level that it is getting to a point that you are frustrating us as the Ministry of Health.

We cannot have this nonsense of three steps forward and then come back to the place we were before,” said Kagwe in a press conference at Afya House.

He also warned any health worker against colluding with outsiders to issue them with vaccines without the authority of the Ministry of Health, saying such a situation will lead to immediate disciplinary action.

“No vaccinations should take place outside the Ministry of Health designated vaccination approved sites.

If there are any outreaches to be conducted, they must be carried out from the designated vaccination post,” directed the CS.

According to Kagwe, there are those who are carrying health camps with stolen vaccines, saying there is no way an individual whatever status will have vaccines of their own unless they are stolen vaccines.

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