NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11 – At least Sh70 million is urgently required to buy medical supplies to treat survivors of the Molo oil tanker tragedy.
Medical Services Permanent Secretary Professor James Ole Kiyiapi said on Wednesday that the government urgently required the funds to buy supplies to last another two weeks.
“What we seem to be lacking are the specialised equipment and the tools accompanying them. Also we are running short of materials and supplies such as dressings, antibiotics and fluids,” the PS said.
“We just received 60 tonnes of materials from the World Health Organisation but because they are needed almost throughout, they run out very quickly.”
He said the Ministry was experiencing constraints because they are spending money that was not budgeted for.
Speaking when he received three specialists from the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in the United States, he said 80 survivors were currently admitted to various hospitals across the country, 16 of whom urgently needed surgery.
US envoy Michael Ranneberger said the three specialists came through a private initiative by the Jordan Foundation.
“They are also bringing some medical supplies later this week,” Mr Ranneberger said.
“The United States and Kenya have a wonderful large partnership. The biggest part of that partnership is what comes from private Americans not the US government,” he added.
The three have come to join a team of Kenyan and Indian specialists who have already embarked on the surgeries in Nakuru Provincial Hospital.
Last week, Kenyatta National Hospital Chief Executive Jotham Micheni said about Sh100 million would be required to conduct surgeries on all the patients admitted to various hospitals across the country.
Meanwhile, Medical Services Minister Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o has said that two more people had died at the Nakuru Provincial Hospital early Wednesday following the tragedy, bringing the death toll to 136.
He explained that more deaths were occurring due to the severity of the burns.
“I am told by the specialists that if you have more than 80 degree burns the likelihood that you will survive is rather very slim,” the Minister said.
“So the doctors and the nurses have been doing their best to keep those who had more than 80 degree burns alive but really it’s by God’s grace that they survive for a few more days,” he added.
The Minister said that currently 45 people were admitted to the Nakuru Provincial Hospital, 11 are in Molo district hospital, 18 at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), while six were admitted to the Nairobi and Mater hospitals.
“Those in Molo were not very critically injured and they are receiving treatment. In Nakuru we have three in Intensive Care Unit while 10 others are still in critical condition,” Professor Nyong’o added.
“The others at Nairobi, Mater and KNH, are stable and are being treated.”
The tragedy occurred as residents of Sachang’wan in Molo tried to siphon oil from a tanker that had overturned.
Close to 80 victims were buried in a mass grave on Monday after they were burnt beyond recognition in the tragedy.