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Patients decry shortage of drugs in Kajiado

Kajiado residents have decried the shortage of drugs at the Kajiado County Referral Hospital.

The locals complained that for over six months, whenever they visit the hospital for treatment, they are directed to buy drugs from certain pharmacies in town.

According to Paul Muturi, a patient who was waiting to see a specialist, drugs available at the hospital pharmacy are only painkillers.

He said that he had visited the facility to undergo a scan but he was referred to a medical centre based in Kitengela for the same.

“I visited the facility to get a scan but was not able to get the service. I was informed that the machine was not in good working condition and was referred elsewhere. I was only given some pain killing tablets.

Muturi said a patient is required to pay a registration fee of sh50 before accessing any services but without the drugs many are wondering why they should pay for services not offered.

He noted that the situation was dire due to the high number of patients seeking services at the hospital.

“Many patients who visit the hospital do so because they can’t afford private facilities. One can only get diagnosed but for medicine you are referred elsewhere as they are not available at the hospital’s pharmacy” he said.

Another patient Esther Saruni complained that apart from the lack of drugs, services being offered at the facility were poor as patients were forced to queue for hours before being attended to.

Saruni said the hospital reception area and wards were crowded and Covid-19 protocols were not being adhered to.

According to Ann Naomi, a relative of a patient admitted at the hospital, services being offered are wanting with relatives expected to take care of their patients.

“Apart from the missing drugs, patients have to change their own soiled beds and those who cannot do so must have someone to do it for them. We have to share beds with the patients we are taking care of. Meals provided are not the best for patients as they are poorly prepared and are not given in good time.” Said Naomi.

Another caregiver, Faith Wanja, says that the drug problem has affected her and her family for more than a month now. Her relative was admitted at the hospital a month ago and they have been spending a lot of money to buy drugs.

“A month ago, my relative was admitted at this facility after having spinal complications. The doctors informed us that the prescribed drugs were not available at the hospital’s pharmacy and we should source them from outside. I have been spending over Ksh2000 every day to buy medicine. My prayer and hope is that help will come sooner.” she said.

Efforts to speak to the hospital administration were futile as they remained silent on the issue.

By Mulu Nzivo and Rop Janet

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