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The Shame of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital

The hospital that was meant to offer health services to more than 1 million people in Eastlands is now a death chamber.

Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital has only two nurses who are expected to serve more than 300 patients and 500 children in a day. Complaints abound about misdiagnosis and death at the casualty wards because there are fewer workers.

A report by the Nairobi City Assembly Health Services Committee chaired by South B MCA Manoah Karega said the hospital was in a pathetic state and recommended a change of its management.

The report which was tabled at the Assembly this week awaiting to be  debated showed that the hospital can only accommodate nine male patients in a makeshift ward meant to be a classroom.

Also, three mothers  share a bed at its maternity  wing which handles a maximum of 40 deliveries in a day, 15 of which are through  Caesarian Section.

The labour ward has 35 beds and the hospital is forced to discharge mothers only eight hours after delivery, the report added.

“It is hard to spend the required 24 hours after normal delivery. Mothers are send away on the same day they give birth. The labour ward has only  eight beds,” said Mr Karega yesterday(Thursday).

Few incubators

The paediatric  section is also in an awful state with the children’s playroom having been turned into a counselling room. “Shockingly, the new born unit has only four incubators and five baby cots.

The tiles are cracked and fallen out of place. This was  meant to serve at least 46 children,” said the report.  The mortuary can only take eight bodies, yet the capacity of 50 bodies would be required.

The members also found  that the hospital meant to serve emergency cases and accident victims from the neighbouring estates had no ambulance and patients were required to organise their own transport.

The accident and Emergency Unit cannot manage a 24-hour system because there are only five workers. “In most cases, patients  are referred to other hospitals even after being rushed there from accident scenes,” said Mr Karega.

The laboratory is also poorly equipped with only 14 lab technicains   instead of  25. The committee has recommended the removal of the Medical Superintendent Dr Julius Ogato saying he had for having failed in his duties.

They added that he could not be trusted to improve service delivery at the 112-bed capacity hospital.

“He has failed to manage the staff and the morale is low. He is not as qualified as some of the doctors and he finds it hard to manage his fellow doctors. He lacks any vision for the hospital,” said Mr Karega.

Mr Karega’s team wants Dr Ogato replaced with a chief executive officer with managerial skills. “A professional doctor may not possess the skills required to turn around the hospital,” the report said.

Local leaders said the hospital was offering  substandard services. Komarock MCA Samuel Irungu admitted that the hospital was constrained in everything. “Staff keep on warning patients to go elsewhere.

The relationship between the hospital and its staff is at its lowest ebb,” said Mr Irungu. “We want total change. People continue to die due to misdiagnosis. The confidence is very low,” Mr Irungu told NairobiNews.