Deaths, unattended births and patients’ pain as health strike takes effect

Health services were paralysed in most public hospitals as doctors and nurses made good their threat to go on strike.

An accident victim, is carried into an ambulance at Karatina sub county hospital after hours of waiting without assistance on December 5, 2016 as doctors went on strike.

At least eight patients died across the country as the strike by Kenya’s health workers began on Monday.

Health services were paralysed in most public hospitals as doctors and nurses made good their threat to go on strike.

At the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital, a body was seen lying in the wards for hours as relatives of the deceased frantically sought help to have it moved to the morgue.

According to James Kariuki, son of the deceased, two more bodies were still lying in hospital’s beds, even as relatives were denied permission to transfer them to a morgue outside the facility.

At the Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital, two critically ill patients reportedly died at the women’s ward on Monday.

Unattended patients

The hospital however did not confirm whether the deaths were attributed to the strike although many patients at the facility had been unattended to since midnight on Sunday.

At the Naivasha sub-county hospital, two patients are said to have died the weekend after nurses went on strike on Friday.

At the Kiambu Level 4 Hospital, two patients reportedly died as health workers downed their tools.

Two women gave birth at the gate of Murang'a General Hospital and could be seen writhing in pain accompanied by their relatives after camping outside the hospital because medics had refused to admit them.

Pay nurses

In Western and Nyanza regions, relatives of patients had to dress their patients’ wounds or pay some nurses between Sh300-Sh400 to have them clean the wounds.

Patients were  forced to dig deep into their pockets to acquire various drugs, including pain killers, to ease their suffering.

The HIV-Aids patients were not spared as those who sought anti-retroviral therapy and counselling in Homa Bay hospitals were left unattended.

In Mbita Subcounty Hospital, patients who turned up to collect ARV drugs returned home empty-handed.

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