Members of the National Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday came out of Mathari Hospital a shocked lot, after making an impromptu visit to the mental facility in Nairobi.
Greeted by old buildings with caving roofs dating back to 1904 when the facility was started, the Members of Parliament witnessed more serious problems facing patients at the hospital.
They learnt that the facility had a bed capacity of 700 yet the patient population stood at 4,188, indicating that six mentally ill persons shared a single bed.
The were surprised to establish that only one nurse took care of 147 patients, a ratio way above global standards of one nurse to six patients.
According to the Committee's Chair, Rachel Nyamai, the medical facility has never been expanded to cater for the ever rising number of patients referred there.
“This institution is congested, it has never had any expansion since it became an institution in 1924,” she told Citizen TV.
Nyamai divulged that only one nurse worked at night, exposing female medics to danger from the potentially violent patients.
The only referral hospital in Kenya offering specialized psychiatric services and drug rehabilitation to patients, is also said to use old generation drugs that allegedly pose serious side effects to the patients.
According to the facility’s Medical Superintendent Julias Ogatu, the hospital requires at least Sh100 Million to improve its services, adding that they already owe Nairobi Water Company Sh40 Million.
Inadequacy of resources at Mathari hospital depict the situation in many public hospitals in Kenya struggling to deliver quality services to patients.
Already under probe is Mama Lucy Hospital in Embakasi, Nairobi, where a 3-month-old died purportedly after being neglected by the hospital staff.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero ordered the probe into baby Dominic’s death who was allegedly denied access to ambulance services while at the hospital.