NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 4 – Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has given the National Spinal Injury Hospital management seven days to provide her with a re-location and expansion plan.
Kariuki also directed that condemned buildings at the only spinal referral hospital in the country be pulled down immediately.
She said the action plan should include relocating the hospital from Kilimani to a more spacious facility so as to serve more Kenyans, many of whom are always on a long waiting list.
“I want a business plan in the next seven days, which should include midterm measures to be carried out including re-location of this hospital to a better place,” she said.
The CS was speaking after she made an impromptu visit to the Hospital, whose managers have over the years recommended its relocation to a larger facility citing the strain on its staff and equipment due to the increasing number of head and spinal injuries.
The referral hospital was built in 1945 to treat injured World War soldiers and has about 30 beds, but only 25 are actively in use.
Many of those undergoing treatment are either motorcycle riders or their passengers, but it also receives other patients from the Uganda, Congo and other Great Lakes region state.
Health CS said the Hospital is overstretched and has no capacity to cater to more patients, rendering them to untold suffering while part of the facility buildings had been condemned.
She learnt from the hospital staff of a myriad of problems among them that human resource was a major challenge at the facility and even interns who assist with physiotherapy abandon work due to none payment.
Before she arrived, said the staff, only two physiotherapists had attended to 70 patients for the day, making it impossible to offer quality services.
She called on Kenyans to be more careful on the roads so as to reduce the number of accidents which contributes to the growing need for spinal treatment.
“Over 20 per cent of none communicable diseases are caused by accidents, which is alarming and we should do everything we can to reduce accidents on our roads,” she added.