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Kidney patients suffer as renal equipment rots in store in Kapenguria

Some of the medical equipment procured by the national government for Kapenguria Level Five and Kacheliba Level Four hospitals is still lying idle due to lack of space and power upgrading challenges.

The national government supplied medical equipment worth billions of shillings to counties with the aim of bringing specialised health services closer to wananchi but in West Pokot, some of the equipment remained idle.

The  Kapenguria County Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr. Jotham  Mukhola said the hospital has not been able to install the renal equipment for Kapenguria hospital due to lack of space.

He said the equipment has been in store for about four years waiting for the completion of a renal building being undertaken by the county government.

Addressing the County Development Implementation Committee meeting yesterday, area County Commissioner (CC), Apollo Okello said patients seeking dialysis were referred to Moi Teaching and Referal Hospital – Eldoret.

“The hospital received dialysis chairs, dialysis beds, suction machine, vital sign monitors, oxygen concentrators, drug trolley and five dialysis machines about four  years ago for the launching of a renal unit but this has not been done to date,” he said.

He added that general X-ray machines for both Kapenguria and Kacheliba hospitals were not working as they required power upgrading.

“General X-ray machines are not working. For Kapenguria, it requires more than 150 KVA and Kacheliba requires about 130 KVA which is not available in the department. Kenya Power is in the process of upgrading the power,” he said.

Dr. Mukhola said other equipment supplied by the national government have been installed and were working properly.

“The equipment for radiology, Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD) and theatre have been installed, working and in use and we have trained staff to handle and operate the equipment,” said the medical officer.

The committee members expressed concern over the delay of installation of the equipment and called for immediate action, saying four years was too long.

Okello said it was wrong for the county government to retain the equipment in the stores while wananchi were suffering.

He demanded the department concerned to ensure that the equipment was put in operation as soon as possible.

“I don’t see any reason of equipment staying idle due to lack of space. They were supplied by the national government to save the common wananchi from incurring expenses through referrals,” pointed the CC.

Later, the committee visited Kapenguria level five hospital to inspect some of the equipment.

By  John  Saina

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