Mbagathi Hospital nurses down tools as coronavirus fear intensify

Doctors at Mbagathi Hospital. [Photo courtesy]

Nurses at Mbagathi hospital on Monday laid down their tools of trade citing a litany of reasons all tied to coronavirus.

Mbagathi Hospital chairman George Osewe said nurses at the facility where an Infectious Disease Unit has been set up feel unsafe and neglected.

Osewe decried that the nurses are in apprehension of handling a patient with coronavirus, days after the first patient was isolated at the hospital while 22 others who had established contact with the 27-year-old female patient have been quarantined here.
“Personal responsibility is very important and it is good they have come out and demonstrated their grievances by the go slow. They are also humans and cannot be exposed to the danger of contracting the virus,” he told the Star.

Osewe said that lack of adequate training of nurses in handling coronavirus is a thorn in the flesh.

He cites that only nurses in the isolation block within Mbagathi Hospital have the know-how to handle patients who test positive for coronavirus.

“I believe the government should move in and handle the situation because the policies lays with them. You cannot just train a few nurses and leave the rest just because they are not attached to the isolated block,” he added.

Nairobi Health CeC Hitan Majevdia asked the national government to move in haste and address the situation.

“Health is among the functions that was handed over to the National Government so at the end of the day the ball is in their court. But as a county we have the protective Personal Protective Equipment and by all mean we shall ensure that our county facilities have them,” he said.

Earlier, the government had denied that the nurses were on a go-slow.

Oguna maintained that the government operations at the hospital are running normally and that nurses were on no go-slow as has rumour has it on social media.

“Even the Head of State said it yesterday. The government is providing training and adequate support for caregivers who are at the front-line of this fight across the country,” he stated adding “you cannot just go with everything you see on social media. If the nurses had downed their tools you would know about it already.”

The reports come after Kenyan confirmed three cases of coronavirus in Kenya. The first case was reported last week on Friday while the other two patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were those who established contact with the first patient during a flight from the U.S to Kenya Via London on March 5.