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Accident exposes hospital’s shortcomings

It was an acid test for Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital on Wednesday morning after it received 34 victims of the train-bus accident. The accident occurred at the Mutindwa level crossing and it involved a minibus belonging to Umoinner Sacco and a passenger train heading to Dandora.

From the look of things, the hospital was either not prepared or was incapable of handling such an emergency.

And this is despite being among the three hospitals that were supposed to ease pressure on Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

Seven victims were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital while 20 others were referred to KNH, Aga Khan University Hospital and MP Shah.

“This is a level four hospital, meaning it is a district hospital. It is not correct to say it is a mini KNH although our capacity to handle badly injured patients is higher than many other hospitals due to staffing and our kind of facilities,” said the hospital’s Medical Superintendent, Dr Julius Ogato.

Bed capacity

Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital admitted only five victims and treated and discharged two others, moments after the accident.

“Four of the five were later transferred to KNH for specialised treatment,” said Dr Ogato when contacted by NairobiNews.

The 121-bed capacity hospital was fully occupied at the moment of the accident except for two adult beds. Dr Ogato said it could not take long term patients due to the state of the victims’ injuries.

He said hospital’s capacity to handle the patients was limited by space and added that it will soon be adding a 66-bed capacity ward.

Although the hospital has advanced medical equipment for CT scan, ultra sound, mammography as well as digital radiography and a modern laboratory, it could not attend to the injured.

As ambulances brought more injured people, those in critical condition were being driven to other hospitals.

Injuries ranged from pelvic, chest, limbs, head to the spine while some required immediate  intensive care.