Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Breaking News -COVID-19 testing machine in Mombasa breaks down as medics strike enters the second week

Mombasa County yet to repair its COVID-19


Mombasa County yet to repair its COVID-19 testing machine which broke down a week ago. 


The county is now depending on Kilifi county for testing. 


The county administration is yet to allocate a budget to repair the machine. 


Health workers say the move has already derailed the effort to combat the global pandemic. 


The Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital (CGTRH) uses the machine as the only region’s largest hospital. 


 The county is now depending on labs at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kilifi and Nairobi to test samples. 


The move comes just amidst strike by nurses, clinical officers and other cadres of health workers in the county. 


The strike has now entered its second week. Only doctors are full-time serving in public hospitals in Mombasa county. 


On Friday, the county secretary and the health department had a meeting with the striking frontline workers to address their challenges but

The striking health workers are demanding remittance of third party deductions, delayed salaries, coronavirus risk allowance and comprehensive medical cover. 


The Kenya National Union of Nurses Mombasa Branch Secretary Peter Maroko said the breakdown of the machine has negatively affect testing, isolation and treatment of Covid-19 patients.


 “It will hinder the process of testing health workers. The machine was to help in separating those who have contracted the disease and treat them so that we don’t lose them. We recognised late diagnosis among health workers led to the deaths of our two colleagues. The two died within two days of admission to the hospital, there was no proper care and in good time,” said Mr Maroko. 


He said the Mombasa county now can only carry out less than 50 tests in Kilifi. 


“Infections among health workers will skyrocket. The breakdown is heavily swaying coronavirus management in the Mombasa county,” added Mr Maroko. 


Mr Maroko said with the breakdown of the machine, will lead to delays in getting coronavirus results, leading to a further spread of the virus, lack of contact tracing and more deaths. 


A human rights group has petitioned Governor Hassan Joho to repair the machine that has been instrumental in the fight against the pandemic. 


 The Executive Director of the Commission for Human Rights and Justice Julius Ogogoh has asked the Ministry of Health to meddle and assure the machine is repaired, warning that its fault is pernicious to the fight against the pandemic. 


“We will protest and camp outside Governor Joho’s office to force him to repair that machine. Devolving health was the worst thing that ever happened to this country. Governors are busy with politics while Kenyans are suffering. Who will heed to our cries?” asked Mr Ogogoh. 


According to the County Health Department, the machine fault occurred on Friday. However, the users at the hospital revealed that it developed mechanical failure last Monday.