Six die in Mombasa as nurses protest

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By MOHAMED AHMED
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Six patients have died at Coast General Hospital as the nurses’ strike entered its second day on Tuesday.

The deaths happened between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, Mombasa Health Chief Officer Khadija Shikely said.

A senior nurse, who sought anonymity, said three patients died while receiving treatment at the facility while the three others died upon arrival.

“One of the patients was from Tana Delta in Tana River and two from private clinics who had all been referred here,” the nurse said.

Confirming the reports, Dr Shikely said the three patients who died in the wards were critically ill.

“The others succumbed to the injuries when they were being attended to. We cannot say they have died as a result of the strike.

“Currently we have 70 nurses who are working on contract. We have distributed them to our health centres to help us control the situation,” said Dr Shikely.

This comes as Coast Provincial General Hospital was Tuesday morning deserted while patients seeking health services were turned away.

At the maternity wing, expectant women were being forced to leave.

“They have been given one hour to vacate the facility. Everything has been put on hold. Nurses are the ones who take care of these mothers here, but now that they are not in, no one is there to look after them,” said an intern doctor.

He said that services in the wards had also been halted.

A spot check by the Nation at the wards revealed that medical interns were attending to the patients.

“I have not been attended to and instead, I have been asked to vacate the facility. My two legs are fractured…I cannot even move.

“How then will I be able to vacate? They have given me a forcible discharge. I wonder for how long we are going to be treated like this. We are really suffering,” said Wycliffe Ochieng. who was admitted to the hospital last month.

Rehema Athman, a mother who had brought her four-year-old daughter for an operation on her fractured left hand, said she was turned away by officers in charge.

“I wanted to see the doctor only to find the orthopaedic unit closed. My daughter has been in pain for long. I don’t know what will happen if she is not attend to. We don’t even know how long the strike is going to last,” lamented Ms Athman.

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