|Exclusive: A mother cleans a bed shared by two patients, photo by Qadarsworld|
A relative of mine who recently visited a sick relative at the Wajir County Hospital got the shock of his life. The deplorable condition of the hospital and the challenges facing healthcare delivery at the county is one beyond description. According to e-Health Kenya Facts, the hospital is classified as ‘’District Hospital owned by the ministry of Health and its status is operational’’. We all know that, health, as a function has been devolved, even though the health facility is incapacitated by shortage of staff, lack of drugs, unserviceable equipments and lack of beds. Patient share beds, the toilets are no gone zone and there is no food at all for patients. Some patients grow thin and sometimes starve to death!
The County Health Executive, Rukia Kahiye, is a woman not in a hurry to solve the health crisis of the county. Rukia, a former Public Health Officer, with a budget of Ksh 990 million, has decided that Wajir county should be the only county in NEP with no single ambulance.Other than personal emoluments, no allocation has been made to the county health sector. If you are keen follower of local news, you will agree with me that, recently when Al-shabab raided the town, most of the victims bled to death because of lack of ambulance to transport them to the nearest health facility. Women die daily due to delivery complications before they reach the nearest health facility. Some track for miles.
The hospital’s medical superintendent, according to e-Health facts, is Dr Dahir Samow whose contact is given as 0728-945851, 04621203 (Landline). When I tried to call, all I got back was ‘’mteja wa nambari unaopiga hapatikani kwa sasa’’.
|Exclusive: Patients scrambling for drugs. Photo by Qadarsworld|
Despite the myriad challenges, the facility has continued to attract hundreds of patients on daily basis. Their fate lies in Allah as the locals are fond of saying. As the county government of Ahmed Jiir faces one crisis after the other due to his arrogance and inability to accommodate varying opinion , he is on record saying he will sack all medical staff in Wajir County. But what many are asking is what the alternative was?
Kahiye, a woman, who could not even organize for a single ambulance despite the availability of funds, cannot surely solve an entire county health’s problems. Any functional county government has a responsibility to ensure health services are offered to all. Wajir residents accuse the governor and his executive of being insensitive to their plight.
|Wajir Governor, Ahmed Jiir addressing a gathering.|
‘’People are dying every day and Jiir and Rukia are least bothered. Better the days of the National Government than this so called county governments! Heads must roll! ’’ Laments a young resident on his Facebook page.
Private hospitals, themselves not well equipped are charging patients as high as sh15,000 before they are admitted.
The county Health Secretary just love to while away months in Nairobi, may be searching for a suitor. She claims that she is in office but not in power and that as a typical Somali man, Governor Jiir does not give her the space to do her work and the the Ksh 990 million allocated to her office is not worth the paper is written on.
The people of Wajir deserve better than this.