Activities at Busia County Referral Hospital came to a standstill Monday after a section of disappointed residents carried out demonstrations around the hospital premises protesting about its poor state.
Speaking during the peaceful protests, William Onyango the youth leader in Busia County from Marachi area stated that the bad state and poor services being offered at the hospital is the driving factor for their demonstration.
“The referral hospital is now like a village hospital. Its name does not match the services it provides. We come to the hospital but end up being treated at the chemists,” he said.
The angry youth protested challenging leaders of the county government and the health docket to come in and rescue the hospital before it collapses.
“I am a mother of two from the slums. According to the law, children under the age of 5 should be treated for free but in this hospital, the case is different. We buy everything outside and still pay expensive hospital bills,” said one of the protesters
The protesters say that the hospital lacked adequate water, drugs, essential equipment and power back up, had only a few beds, no food for the patients and the hospital staff generally offered poor service.
They have however given the Chief Health Officer Isaac Omeri an ultimatum of one month to quit stating that he has proven incapable of holding and steering the health docket.
“We have given the Deputy Governor and Chief Officer of Health Isaac Omeri one month to either change the state of this hospital or resign,” said Onyango.
Responding to claims of the mob, Omeri called upon the angry mob to be patient with the county government stating that the health docket has also tabled similar grievances and they were waiting for responses from KEMSA and the national government.
“The funds to solve all the problems you have raised come from the main Treasury in Nairobi. Until we have the funds, we cannot offer services smoothly,” he said
“We have sent an order to KEMSA to deliver drugs that are not available. We have also awarded tenders for food and employed 20 trained doctors,” he added
The members of the public have however promised to continue carrying out similar demonstrations every Monday and Tuesday until their grievances are solved.