Nairobi News

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Hospitals paralysed as health workers down tools

Tales of pain and desperation marked the start of the health workers strike at the Kenyatta and Mbagathi hospitals in Nairobi, as patients camped for several hours with no medical attention.

At both hospitals, relatives were being forced to hire vehicles and taxis to transfer their patients to private hospital as the long wait became unbearable.

Health workers want the devolution of health services to be anchored in law. They are also up in arms over failure by the government to come up with a national health policy.

One of the patients at Kenyatta hospital, Mr Fredrick Kimani, had a deep wound on his left rib cage after he was stabbed by thugs while on his way home in Ndenderu. He only received some bandages from the few nurses and doctors on duty but no medication to calm his pain despite waiting for 12 hours.

Mr Kimani is one of the many patients who crammed at the KNH’s Accident and Emergency center, most complaining of not seeing a doctor several hours after arrival.

“I have been told to wait for two hours for a blood test which is yet to come,” said Mr Kimani, the pain visibly unbearable.

At Mbagathi hospital, patients had their appointments with the doctor rescheduled as they were told that doctors were on strike and there would be no services until early next year.

“I had an appointment today but it has been rescheduled to January 7 because the doctors are on strike,” said Ms Alice Njeri from Githurai, who had brought her seven year-old son to see a skin specialist.