Lack of proper waste management system has been identified as major health hazard in Nakuru County.
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Preliminary findings by health task force has established that the current waste management system is overstretched.
The newly appointed health task force chairman Prof James Tuitoek says that there are only two functional incinerators at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital and Langalanga health centre in Nakuru Town East.
The two facilities manage waste collected from both public and private hospitals in Nakuru county.
Prof Tuitoek cautions that the matter needs serious attention given that affected hospitals are forced to keep medical waste like used syringes, needles and gloves in carton boxes.
Poor storage, he said, puts health workers and patients at high risk of contamination of various diseases ranging from HIV, tetanus, Hepatitis B and C among others.
“Medical waste needs proper management to avoid infections in hospitals, ” said Tuitoek.
He added that for the past several months, expired drugs haven’t been collected to respective designated incinerators.
Prof Tuitoek was speaking to Afywatch at Kihingo dispensary in Njoro, during a hospital tour to establish the state of hospitals in the county.
He says the main aim of is to establish sustainable solutions in hospital waste management which is a key anchor in the provision of quality healthcare.
In the past years, several private hospitals have been accused by the department of public health of disposing medical waste at Gioto dumpsite, in the outskirts of Nakuru town.
“Medical waste management is a matter that requires immediate attention to keep health workers and patients safe. It is a health safety requirement ” the chairman added.
The preliminary task force report further noted that the county has an over-supply of maternity equipment but unfortunately, some of the recipient facilities are not operating.
He said expectant mothers are forced to walk tens of Kilometres looking for maternal services that would be provided in nearby facilities were they operational.
Among facilities with maternity wings but are not operating include Kihingo dispensary located in Njoro Sub County.
The facility has two established maternity wings, one constructed by Constituency Development Fund (CDF) with a newly one constructed by County Government, but none is operational.
The county government is said to have constructed the new facility after establishing that the one by the CDF did not meet the required standards.
The newly constructed maternity wing under the county government has been condemned by the public health department.
“Why should we have two maternity wings constructed with tax payers money, yet it is not providing services it was intended?” Posed the chair.
“There are many hospitals in the county but they are lying idle with no health employees to man them. Unfortunately, some already have cracked walls,” said Tuitoek.
The task force has so far toured at least twenty hospitals in Nakuru west Nakuru East, Subukia and Rongai sub counties.
The county has a total of 145 hospitals. In the past five years, the at least 40 facilities among them 28 were constructed by County Government while 13 were established under Constituency Development Fund (CDF).