, VOI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Nurses in Taita Taveta have urged the county government to enhance the capacity of local hospitals to ensure residents access quality medical care.
In an apparent response to a stern warning issued by Governor Granton Samboja weeks ago due to deteriorating service delivery in county hospitals, the nurses union in the county on Saturday blamed the situation to lack of medical equipment.
According to the union’s Secretary General Boniface Mrashui patients have had to be turned away from some of the hospitals due to inadequate capacity to handle some ailments.
“You cannot tell us that health officers will have to keep patients in hospitals yet there is no equipment to for diagnosis,” he said.
“The truth of the matter is the hospitals are ill-equipped,” he explained.
Mrashui warned politicians against politicizing health matters saying doing so will not help resolve the challenges facing the health sector.
Governor Samboja had on February 13 given the county’s health executive committee member, Frank Mwangemi, forty-five days to crack the whip on health workers at the Moi Referral Hospital in Voi who were said to be mistreating patients.
“In the next 45 days, I want to see changes in the health sector. I don’t want to see our people crossing the border seeking health services in Tanzania as has been happening in the past,” he said during a recent workshop with executive committee members in Voi.
“Embark on the changes in our health sector without fear because I will fully support you in this,” he added.
Also affected is the Taveta Level Four Hospital which remained heavily underequipped forcing residents to seek medical services in neighbouring Tanzania.
Samboja had directed the health executive to ensure the hospital is equipped within forty-five days.
A recent task force report on projects executed between 2013-2017 identified numerous gaps in the county’s health sector despite huge financial investments.
For instance, a Sh 40.2 million Computed Tomography Scan (CT scan) machine meant for the Moi Referral Hospital in Voi has been grounded since its purchase in the financial year 2014/15 as a result of mismanagement.
The CT scan, according to the taskforce report published on February 05, developed mechanical faults due to lack of a housing unit.
The task force warned that the machine could be irreparably damaged if appropriate remedial measures are not taken.