The government has been requested to employ more nurses so as to effectively realise its goal in the provision of universal health care.
During their celebrations to mark year of nurses on Friday, nurses from Murang’a County claimed that the universal health coverage could not be achieved with the current shortage of nurses being witnessed in many public hospitals.
Led by the County Nursing Officer, Salome Kimani, the nurses complained that due to the small number of nurses and midwives, service delivery in many public facilities was not up to the standards.
Kimani observed that universal health coverage needs adequate and well trained nurses distributed to all public health facilities.
She observed that they strained to provide better health care, despite the shortage of nurses across public hospitals yet there were many trained nurses who remained unemployed.
In Murang’a County, we have about 800 nurses but there is a shortage of more than 1, 000 nurses to enable us provide quality health care,” she added.
Among the specialized nurses, Kimani said there were three renal nurses but the unit required at least 10 nurses to man dialysis services.
She added that other specialized nurses were needed in various sections, including comprehensive care unit, psychiatric section among other departments especially in level 4 and above hospitals.
During the occasion, the County Director of Medical Services, Winnie Kanyi lauded the important role played by nurses in the provision of medical care, while requesting government to employ more health workers as it prepared to roll out universal health coverage in all counties.
Kanyi said some dispensaries in the region were manned by only one or two nurses and there was need to increase the number of medical personnel in public health facilities.
She encouraged nurses to continue serving patients despite the many challenges as the government moved to address biting bottlenecks facing the health sector.
The County Executive Member for Health and Sanitation, Joseph Mbai noted that the county government is committed to employing and deploying more health workers in an equitable manner.
Mbai said during the last financial year, the county government employed 100 nurses and this year they would add more health workers to ensure all public hospitals have the requisite number of workers.
During the occasion, the nurses offered free services to residents of Murang’a town, including testing of communicable and non-communicable diseases, counseling services as well as treatment of minor ailments.
The residents were also educated on preventive care and nutrition in an effort to curtail increased rate of non-communicable diseases resulting from poor diet.
By Bernard Munyao