By Edwin Maina
Kidney patients are crying for urgent assistance after the renal facility unit collapsed at the Malindi Subcounty Hospital.
Some 40 patients are in dire need of dialysis elsewhere after only one out of the five machines is working there forcing them to wait for long to get the life-saving process.
Five representatives of the patients, speaking to journalists in Malindi on September 25, 2023, alleged some of their colleagues have died after failing to get the crucial service.
They called on the Kilifi County Government to urgently address the issue to save lives of those still in need of dialysis services.
Stephen Angore, who has depended on the dialysis machines for his life since 2016, claimed their cries for the repairs of the machines have fallen on deaf ears and asked Governor Gideon Mung’aro to intervene and save them.
“These machines are actually our kidneys. Without them we have no life. We urge Gov Mung’aro to personally intervene and fix them for us to continue living,” he said in Malindi town.
According to him each patients is expected to undergo dialysis of their kidneys twice a week, but since the machines broke down in October last year, many have been missing their sessions while others have been forced to seek the service at a private hospital and some patients have died.
Zilpa Wanje from Magarini Subcounty said the hospital management had referred the patients to the Kilifi County Referral Hospital for the services, but many of them cannot afford the transport costs given that they have to attend two sessions each week.
“The other hospital that can help using Kilifi, but if one does not have the fare to travel to Kilifi, one has nothing else to do but to wait for death,” a distraught Wanje added.
Shaban Changawa Baya, who has a kidney patient said the sick and their relatives have tried to seek help from the hospital administration without success as nobody seems to know exactly what was going on.
“Even the renal nurses at the hospital do not know what to do. One of the renal nurses who took pictures of the renal unit and posted them in their professional group was transferred to another health facility that does not have a renal unit.”
Contacted for comment, the Kilifi County health chief officer David Mulewa confirmed that the dialysis machines were dysfunctional and advised those seeking services to do so at the County Referral Hospital.
He assured the patients that ‘soon’ the county government would renovate the building housing the renal unit at the Malindi hospital and procure new machines as the old ones were obsolete.
“It is true that the machines at the hospital are faulty. In fact, the building housing the renal unit is not fit for that purpose and we want to bring it down and build a new one before we fix new machines,” he said on phone.
Gov Mung’aro visited the facility recently to launch other facilities that his administration had renovated before announcing he would ‘soon’ acquire a machine that would be used to treat the wounds of diabetic patients to curb amputations of their limbs.