Patients overwhelm coast hospitals, share beds

Public hospitals in Mombasa have been forced to allow patients to share beds as many residents flock the facilities with advanced stages of different ailments, thanks to resumption of services after doctors’ strike.

Patients from Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Lamu, Tana-River are thronging the Coast Provincial General Hospital, the largest health facility in the region to seek medical services.

A spot check by the revealed the hospital was overstretched especially the maternity wing forcing mothers to share beds.

Mombasa acting Health executive Binti Omar and director of medical services Shem Patta said the hospital is strained in terms of population, with health workers handling more than 45 deliveries daily.

“Previously we could do an average of 30, but both normal and caesarean section have increased. The staff are actually overstretched but we are recruiting 30 more nurses because that is where we have a shortage,” said Dr Patta.


Dr Patta said deliveries at the Mrima health Centre in Likoni which was the only facility offering emergency obstetric services shot up from 240 to 656 in a month.

“They could do almost 150 caesarean section operations in a month,” he added.

Ms Omar said most of the patients seeking healthcare services at the county hospitals are at an acute stage.

“Their conditions are very dire, we can’t afford another strike. The hospitals are full, go to Port Reitz serving in Mombasa West and you will see. Others are coming from Mariakani. People were sick and lacked a place to go during the nationwide doctors’ strike. Now that operations have normalised more patients are coming,” she added.

She said were it not for the conditional grant from the national government it could have been difficult for the county to offer subsidised medical services.


Meanwhile, over 400 Mombasa residents benefited from a free medical camp organised by Project Hope Organisation.

The lobby group’s executive director Abdhul Rasheed Sheikh and Dr Tahir Mohammed said they decided to hold the camp due to the rising cases of diabetes and hypertension.

Last year the organisation held a similar medical camp where 315 people were diagnosed with the diseases and hypertension.

“125 were diagnosed with diabetes and 190 with blood pressure. We provided treatment and they are doing well,” said Dr Mohammed.

Mr Sheikh said the camp is as a corporate social responsibility targeting residents who suffered due to the three agonizing months of the doctors’ strike.

“We decided to bring the services to the community after suffering without healthcare. Majority of those who are suffering from diabetes and hypertension are the elderly and the youths according to our statistics,” added the 24-year-old law student.

Mr Sheikh who is seeking to be a Member of County Assembly (MCA) urged his age mates to vie for political seats.

“We shouldn’t sit back and complain about corruption when we cannot take the initiative and make a difference,” he added.

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