Ten cancer patients from the Kenyatta National Hospital have been released due to lack of blood as the facility lacks enough supply.
The patients told a local newspaper that they were told to leave the facility on Friday morning.
According to Hellen Achieng, a patient, they had been admitted to the women’s Ward 1B at the hospital for over two weeks hoping to commence treatment, which never was.
“We were forcibly discharged on Thursday, with most patients sleeping in the casualty corridors before leaving on Friday morning.”She claimed.
Acheing, who came to KNH from Busia, suffers from cancer of the vulva, and she was in need of four pints of blood before she starts chemotherapy treatment.
“I don’t even have fare back home. I’m in pain. What these people are telling me is to go die at home? Where do I get blood?” she asked tearfully.
KNH communications manager, Mr. Hezekiah Gikambi said he was not aware of that issue.
Upon been requested by the daily to connect them to the KNH chief executive officer, Dr. Evanson Kamuri, he claimed the CEO was attending a meeting and had several other issues to attend to and not to pick calls from media.
“Do you think we are seated here waiting to answer your calls? We have other priorities to attend to. The CEO is busy saving lives, and his work is not to pick calls.” He said.
Last week, Symbol of Hope Warriors, (a cancer support group in Kariobangi North) took to social media urging Kenyans to donate blood for Helen Achieng as her condition was deteriorating.
“Every time I call her relations, they promise to travel to Nairobi to see her bad; sadly, they have never shown up. They say they don’t have the fare to come to Nairobi. Getting blood transfusion from KNH has proved difficult if you don’t get donors for yourself.”Said Ms. Kagonga of Symbol of Hope Warriors.
The ejected patients were told to either look for donors or go to their respective counties and ask for blood.
Cancer patients require blood as chemotherapy drugs cause a lack of blood to patients.
The drugs affect both healthy and cancerous fast-dividing cells. This leads to the dropping of patients’ blood count.
There is a shortage of blood supplies in the country recently due to a lack of funds for purchasing screening tools.
There is also a lack of money to pay workers to collect and store blood.
Other conditions, apart from cancer, that desperately need blood transfusion are bleeding during maternity and accident casualties.