Coronavirus Isolation Facility Stops Operations Over Govt Debt

  • A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020
    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • The Migosi Sub-County Hospital in Kisumu, one of the facilities identified to serve coronavirus patients in the area, has seen its operations stalled over a debt.

    The facility has been forced to stop its operations for the past month over failure by the Kisumu County Government to settle a Ksh 100,000 electricity bill.

    A member of the hospital's staff who spoke to the Standard on March, 22 confirmed that the hospital had not had power for the last month. This left staff contending with an untenable situation while delivering services to the patients.

    An empty ward at Migosi Sub-County Hospital in Kisumu County pictured on March 21,2020.
    An empty ward at Migosi Sub-County Hospital in Kisumu County pictured on March 21,2020.
    The Standard

    “We have not had electricity for the last month. The facility has been in complete darkness making it difficult for staff to help mothers deliver babies at night,” the member of staff expressed.

    The staffer additionally lamented that the health workers in the facility had been forced to share three rechargeable lamps in times of emergency.

    There was increased worry that if the hospital's lot does not change, efficiency in service delivery would continue to be compromised.

    “The situation is worrying given the number of cases that the facilities have been handling in the last few months. The introduction of the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) had brought hopes but now we cannot serve people because there is no electricity,” provided another member of staff.

    The situation has rendered the facility deserted with the wards lying empty. The lack of power has had a severe effect on the hospital with multiple energy-intensive machines lying idle. 

    In a characteristic domino effect, the crisis has extended to the supply of water which has similarly stalled in the absence of power to run the pumps

    Fred Oluoch, the Director of Public Health in the county, however, stated that the county government was offering the hospital all the support it needed.

    Migosi Sub-County Hospital in Kisumu County pictured on March 21,2020.
    Migosi Sub-County Hospital in Kisumu County pictured on March 21,2020.
    The Standard

    “There is an amount of money that we sent to the facility. They had received the money,” stated Oluoch.

    Kenya Power confirmed that the facility owed it money.

    It had however resolved to restore power as part of its contribution towards addressing the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

    "We have decided to restore power to all health facilities because they cannot be in darkness at such a critical time," stated Sarah Wephukulu, the Western Kenya Regional Manager for the Kenya Power and Lighting Company.