Migosi Sub-County Hospital in Kisumu has been grounded for a month now for failure by the county government to pay Ksh100,000 electricity bills.
The facility had been identified as one of the hospitals to help curb the spread of Coronavirus in Kisumu County. It was expected to provide temporary isolation for suspicious cases before they are moved to the main isolation units in the county.
The facility had also run out of food stock for patients, which forced outpatients to bring with them their food. Worst of all, it had been deserted with all wards left empty, including the maternity wing, which used to receive up to 60 deliveries every month.
The staffs now have no option but to wait for the day to end, with hopes of saving lives fading away by the day.
Inside the hospital, machines that operate on electricity are now covered in dust. Also, the water supply had been interrupted because there is no power to pump the water.
The media established that the situation became worse during the last few weeks when patients started to look for alternative facilities.
A staff member who sought for anonymity said, “We’ve not had electricity for a month. The facility has been in total darkness, which makes it difficult for us to help mothers deliver babies at night.”
The staff further stated that they had to rely on three rechargeable small lamps, which they bought to help in case there is an emergency, and that the lamps are to be charged outside the facility at a well-wisher’s house.
Another staff member said that the introduction of Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) had raised hopes, but now none can be served due to the lack of electricity.
The hospital cannot administer vaccines to children because they lack suitable refrigeration for the vaccines.
The situation reflects the woes facing several hospitals across the county as Governor Nyong’o seeks to revive the health sector after appointing himself the acting Health County Executive Committee member last Friday.
County Public Health Director Fred Oluoch told the media that the county government had sent money to the facility for their daily operations, adding that the hospital did not lack food for patients.
Kenya Power also confirmed that the county government owed them but said that they would restore the power at the facility due to the current situation of the country and efforts to contain the Covid-19 epidemic.
Western Kenya KPLC region manager Sarah Wephukulu said that she had instructed technicians to give back power to all health facilities they had disconnected.
“We have decided to restore power to all health facilities because they cannot be in darkness at such a critical time,” Wephukulu said.