Kenya: Nurse Collapses, Dies as Strike Hits Hospitals

A nurse at the Kakamega County General Hospital died on Tuesday, becoming the latest casualty of the ongoing nationwide strike by health workers agitating for better working conditions.

Mr Wycliffe Alumasa had been ill for a week but his condition worsened when he had difficulties breathing. He collapsed and died at his home in Shikangania village, Lurambi constituency.

His wife, Veronica Alumasa, is also sick. County health executive Collins Matemba said samples had been obtained from the nurse for testing.

In Migori County, patients struggled to cope with costly treatment in private hospitals. Some lacked transport to far flung facilities as the strike entered its third day yesterday.

Ms Nancy Achieng in Nyandema village, Nyatike Sub-county, had an ailing child whom she had taken to Nyarombo Hospital for treatment but was not attended to.

“I have no option but to resort to traditional medicine,” she told the Nation. At the Migori County Referral Hospital, Ms Maureen Anyango delivered her baby and was quickly discharged.

In Kisumu County, there was no activity at the Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital, relatives of mentally ill patients were taking them away with only 15 of the psychiatric patients remaining in the ward.

In Homa Bay County, patients got a reprieve after medics from non-governmental organisations, including Medecins Sans FrontiƩres, temporarily took over provision of services at the county referral hospital.

And in Vihiga County, five healthcare workers are being investigated by Luanda police following the theft of medical gloves worth Sh800,000 at Emuhaya Sub-county Hospital.

Luanda police boss Muhammed Kullow said yesterday that the five, who were arrested and released on a cash bail of Sh100,000 each, include three from Emuhaya Sub-county Hospital and two from a private health facility.

County Health executive Amos Kutwa said disciplinary action will be taken against the officers once investigations are complete.

Sick patients

At Kapsabet County Referral Hospital in Nandi County, Mr Mark Bett, a diabetic, had to travel more than 40 kilometres from Kilibwoni only to find he could not be attended to.

“I was here at 8.15am and it is now past noon and I have not received any treatment,” he said.

Nurses union Nandi branch officials Jane Jelimo and Amos Ngetich asked those with sick patients to take them home.

They said the about 700 nurses and 220 clinical officers would not resume duty until all their demands are implemented.

Dr Daniel Kemboi, the medical superintendent at the Kapsabet County Referral Hospital, said the facility was facing a crisis.

In Bungoma County, patients flocked LifeCare, Korry and Bungoma West private hospitals.

Mr Davis Wamalwa, who had sought treatment for malaria at Bokoli Hospital in Webuye West, said he had sought services at Bungoma County Referral Hospital but could not be treated.

“I felt very bad after I was turned down after travelling all the way,” he said.

He said that his greatest worry were the expectant mothers.

In Elgeyo Marakwet County, Ms Susan Jepkemoi who had travelled all the way from Kapsowar in Marakwet West to Iten Hospital, waited for two days without treatment. She had come for her monthly check-up but could not be assisted.

“I have been waiting here for two days but I haven’t even registered to be attended to. I also have children who are waiting for me at home,” said the 35-year-old. Caregivers described the situation as unfortunate.

“We have been here from yesterday. The hospital’s management says we have to wait a little bit longer because the queues are so long,” said Mr Benjamin Kipkore who had accompanied a sick family member.

Reporting by Benson Amadala, Ian Byron, Victor Raballa, George Odiwuor, Derick Luvega, Tom Matoke, Barnabas Bii, Brian Ojamaa and Flora Koech


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