On Saturday June 12, 2021, I visited and took a tour of Ikutha Level Four Hospital in Kitui South Constituency. For the avoidance of doubt and to put the records straight, I do not need anyone to show me around any place and/or facility in Kitui County.

I know, as I should, my county very, very well. And so the offer from Governor Ngilu, and the self-appointed court jesters in her make-believe palace, to take and show me around the county health facilities is hereby summarily declined.

I was on a noble mission, in line with my oversight mandate (Article 96, Constitution of Kenya 2010) to confirm a long-held public truth about the state of healthcare in the Ikutha facility and to form a firm basis for subsequent visits to other health facilities. This is what I saw (with my own eyes):

  1. There is an ACUTE shortage of medical personnel. The situation is so pathetic that when one staff member is not at their station, the service they offer is simply unavailable. During my visit, the Reception and the Labs were all unmanned.


1(b). In one of the labs, a metallic hand-washing container is so rusty it has changed its original colour. The same is the case for the only petri-dish rack. Chances of contamination of specimen in the Labs are real and very high.

  1. There is only ONE ward for all in-patients including new borns, maternity, paediatric, accidents and infectious diseases.
    2(b). I found two inpatients with broken limbs sleeping on beds whose legs are balanced on bricks for stability. Because there are no prescribed weights in the hospital, the medics are suspending jerricans filled with soil on the patient’s broken limbs to help in healing.

  2. For the last several months, there have been no films for a virtually outdated (obsolete) fixed X-ray machine. The operator projects the patient’s image on a desktop screen, takes a photo of the image by phone and sends it to the medical officers on WhatsApp for interpretation.

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On the basis of the WhatsApp image, the medical personnel would do diagnosis of an ailment and prescribe drugs.
3(b). This X-ray machine is probably one of the donations to the county which were later tendered and paid to a well-connected supplier doing BIG business with Gov Ngilu’s government.

  1. The “main theater” has NEVER functioned. Why? The drainage system wasn’t working but has apparently been fixed. The structure apparently doesn’t meet the specs for the operating equipment at the facility. So when there is need for a theater procedure, patients are referred to Mutomo Mission Hospital.

4(b). There is a standby pick-up truck converted into an ambulance. But there is no fuel and so whenever a patient needs to be transferred to Mutomo or any other facility, they have to fuel the ambulance. I witnessed such a case during my tour of the facility.

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  1. The room set aside as an isolation ward is literally an eyesore; dusty, broken beds and all manner of dirt on the floor and on the beds. One bed attracted my special attention; used gloves spewed on the bed, a soiled sheet and used tissue paper by the bedside. The explanation was that the bed had been used by a Covid-19 patient.
  2. In the Pharmacy shelves are basic OTC drugs and mostly for cough and flu for children.

After working so hard to deliver more than Sh11.8 billion to the County Government of Kitui, it must be expected that demands for accountability in the management of these funds will move a notch higher.

Enoch Kiio Wambua,
Senator, Kitui County.

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