Bondo sub county hospital Nurses Welfare Association has been heavily criticised by the public for purchasing a hearse to help its members earn an extra income.
The welfare association yesterday unveiled the newly acquired hearse as part of its Income Generating Activity expected to better the lives of its members.
The move has however attracted heavy criticism from both the public and other stakeholders who have cited possible conflict of interest among the health care givers.
Residents together with other members of the public in the country have trolled the facility management on social media for allowing the association to venture into the hearse business.
The Association chair Mr. Dominic Omollo has however defended their move saying it will not compromise the work of nurses.
Omollo allayed fears expressed by members of the public especially on social media saying nurses work under oath to protect lives therefore cannot take advantage of their patients to promote the hearse business.
The senior nurse revealed that they ventured into the business after realizing that they were spending alot of money to’ hire hearse whenever their member or a close relative passed on.
“Most people think that we have bought the hearse for business but that’s not the case. It is for the benefit of our members whenever there is bereavement. We have been paying up to Sh. 30,000 to hire a hearse service leaving us with nothing to give to the bereaved family after burial hence this will be cheap and convenient for us,” Omollo said.
He added that the hearse will also benefit members of the community in case they need to transport a body cheaply.
“On many occasions we have had requests from members of the public who are completely overwhelmed on how they can transport the bodies of their loved ones and this will offer immediate solution to such cases where they will only need to fuel the vehicle,” Omollo explained.
Siaya County Chief Officer of Health Dr. Eunice Fwaya who spoke to KNA backed the nurses saying that the Nurses’ Welfare Association has every right like any other Kenyan entity to venture into any form of legal business.
Fwaya said that the kind of business that the association has chosen has nothing to do with their profession as nurses adding that it does not mean that they will put the lives of patients in danger.
“Mortuaries are built in hospitals does it mean that the doctors in those hospitals want the patients to die? No!” she retorted.
he Chief Officer reiterated that nurses are guided by professional conduct that ensures they uphold the life and dignity of patients even in death and therefore starting a hearse business is in line with ensuring the dignity is preserved even in death.
Hearse business is booming in Bondo with the Catholic Women Association from St. Andrews and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology already providing the service.
By Brian Ondeng