NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 13 – Five victims of Monday’s pipeline fire at Nairobi’s Sinai slum have died while undergoing treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
According to the Minister for Medical Services Prof Anyang Nyong’o, 97 other patients are still admitted to the hospital with various degrees of burns while 16 were treated and discharged.
The minister said the exact number of those who perished in the disaster would emerge after efforts by the Kenya Red Cross to track missing persons and DNA tests determine the identity of victims.
Nyong’o said the country’s biggest referral hospital was overwhelmed by the numbers of patients but that the medical team would be beefed up by his ministry.
“We still require more staff (about 160 nurses) as the teams are overstretched but the ministry will deal with that as soon as possible.”
Nyong’o also intimated that his ministry had contacted experts from India who would be called in if the need arose.
“We are already in talks with experts from the state of Gujarati. As soon as we have specific information on the specialists we require and to which kind of need they are coming to address, we will communicate,” he said.
He further assured that the government in conjunction with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) was committed to constructing an ultra modern burns management facility starting next year as the country prepares a long term strategy to deal with emergencies of this kind.
“The government and the KNH with support of funds coming through from OPEC is going to build an ultra modern burns management centre with a bed capacity of 78 and we expect the ground breaking for that to be next year. The centre should be complete and offering services in two years (2014),” he reiterated.
Meanwhile, Kenyatta National Hosptial’s Chief Executive officer Richard Leresian has acknowledged the public’s response to the plea for more blood.
“The response has been overwhelming and we want to thank the youth and members of the disciplined forces who have donated blood. We really want to appreciate the positive gesture that will also save other lives not just from this fire accident,” said the CEO who spent Tuesday morning meeting doctors tending to the survivors of the fire.
Capital News also spoke to two survivors Julius Ondusi and Lucy Nyawira currently recuperating at KNH, who both told journalists that they were feeling much better than they did at the time of admission.