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Drug shortage hits Bungoma health facilities

28 October 2014, 20:57 Ben Wafula

Bungoma - Major health facilities in Bungoma County are facing a health crisis due to lack of drugs which has catapulted the price increase by the private pharmacists.

Bungoma referral hospital and Webuye sub-county hospital are the hardest hit with patients being referred to private chemist to get the prescribed drugs.

Webuye sub county medical superintendent Dr Ceaser Beta has said that the health facility which serves thousands of patients is in a health crisis after the County government failed to procure the drugs for it to help the ailing patients who are in dire need of their services.

“The facility is facing drugs and food shortage and am calling on the County government to provide us with it so that we are able to help the patients who throng the facility daily in search of the medical services,” said Beta.

Also read: Lamu residents are 'prisoners' in their own homes

He said that they have been forced the ration food given to patients and it has adversely affected the patients who are used to bigger ration.

“Food is scarce and we are forced to cut down on the ratio to satisfy our patients unlike last year the hospitals had to procure most of the items to accommodate the large number of patients when we were dealing with the national government, since the health sector was devolved health facilities are in a big crisis,”  he said..

Dr.Beta has disclosed that the suppliers of various items to the facility are demoralized and have boycotted delivering the food and non food items after the County government delayed paying them.

Bungoma County assembly majority leader Majimbo Okumu and the Mjini Ward MCA Joseph Maguda have faulted the County government for failing to procure the drugs on time for the Bungoma county referral hospital something that has led the patients to receiving the raw deal.

Speaking during the official launch of the Bungoma town bus park, the duo blamed the County health, water and sanitation Chief Executive Committee member Grace Khayota for failing to address the problem even after the hospital officials raising the alert.

“If the problem is not addressed on time patients will continue dying in the hands of the hospital health staff and we will lead residents in demonstrating until the problem gets a solution,” said Okumu.

Maguda said that the health facility has been in a crisis since August when the hospital x-ray machine broke down and nothing is being done to address the problem and this has forced patients who have sustained injuries to seek for the x-ray services in private health facilities which are very expensive.

“Majority of patients stay in the hospital for over four days without being attended to and some are forced to return home after their hope of receiving treatment faded, let governor Kenneth Lusaka address the issue before it gets out of hand,” said Maguda.

The duo claimed that due to poverty many patients prefer visiting the government health facilities because of the free medication as per the state directive and lack of basic drugs will lead to a health crisis.

Health workers in the county who had been employed under the Economic stimulus program last week gave a two week ultimatum to the county government to absorb them on permanent and pensionable terms before they stage a strike that will paralyze services in major health facilities.

Led by the Kenya national union of nurses (Knun) Seth Panyako said that if the county government to absorb the 202 heath workers before 14th of November failure to which he will lead the strike until the issue is addressed.

Contacted, health, water and sanitation Chief Officer John Situma said that the issue will be addressed soon as the county government works on a solution to the problem.

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