Nurses advised to stay away from Mbagathi Hospital
Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has called for its members to stay away from Mbagathi Sub-county Hospital maternity wing until their safety can be guaranteed.
The nurses’ union is also asking for the sacking of Nairobi County Health executive Hitan Majevdia over the poor state of the facility.
KNUN general secretary Seth Panyako has condemned the Health CEC for endangering lives of people by failing to act on the recommendations of the engineer who declared the structure unfit for occupation.
“In accordance with the Occupation Safety and Health Act, we ask our members and all health workers to vacate the building with immediate effect,” said Mr Panyako on Wednesday.
He said that their call for the county to act on the building put up in 2014 fell on deaf ears, claiming that the electrical fault that caused power outage on Tuesday night was caused by the leakages in the cracks on the building.
“The union wish to state that last night owing to the prominent cracks in the building of the maternity wing fire broke out occasioned by the leakages in the cracks,” he said.
Mr Majevdia had, in a press release dated May 15, acknowledged that the maternity block had minor cracks but assured the public and health workers that they will be rectified adding that services should proceed normally.
But Mr Panyako said that the building had been condemned by Nairobi County engineer, now Roads chief officer, Frederick Karanja in a letter dated April 26, 2018.
In the letter, a recommendation had been made to have the two storey structure closed and all patients accommodated elsewhere and a thorough audit of the building undertaken.
“The building has been condemned as unfit for occupation and we are urging our mothers not to go to Mbagathi until the issue of the maternity is resolved. We wish to urge our members and any health worker not move around the building. Stay 200 metres away from the building as it is a risk to your life,” he said.
The inspection report, done on March 20, 2018, by Engineer Karanja observed that the building had leakages on walls, floors and roofs, deformed and sagging beams, electrical shocks on water pipes, showers and incubators, and lacking facilities for use by the physically disabled.
It also revealed that the structure had inadequate strength evidenced by the appearance of cracks on the walls, slabs and beams and failed drainage systems for both foul and storm water.
But on Wednesday, Majevdia reiterated that the maternity wing and new born unit facility has not officially been condemned as unfit for occupancy and on Monday, national government engineers carried out tests and survey on the building with a report expected out soon.
On her part, the hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Loice Mutai said that the cracks have been there since last year confirming that the building also has blockage on the sewerage line at some point leading to leaking sewage hence posing a public health risk.
“The cracks have been there for a while. Maybe for a year but they have been becoming bigger. We had reported and action taken. The building was assessed courtesy of our leadership at the county where engineers were sent to look at the cracks,” said Dr Mutai.