Kenya continues to be hit by the third wave with Covid-19 as positivity rate rising at 22.1 per cent way above the WHO threshold of five per cent.
As of 23rd March, 1, 127 people tested positive for Covid-19 out of 5,393 sample size with the total cases standing at 125K from 1.4 million tests conducted so far. This has created a shortage of both ICU beds and medical workers.
It’s now becoming hard to secure an ICU bed in Nairobi and some are resorting to looking up somewhere else with Machakos, Nakuru, Makueni and other close regions being an alternative.
However, the situation is worsening in those other regions with Machakos Governor, Alfred Mutua sending a warning over ICU bed shortage in the county.
“All our Machakos Level 5 hospital’s 15 ICU beds & additional 12 HDU beds (Total 27) full with severe Covid patients. All Machakos 42 ICU/HDU beds with oxygen points also full. People are waiting for others to die to get a bed. MASK, avoid BARS, be WISE. HAKUNA VITANDA,” said Mutua
Kshs 650,000 for an ICU bed
According to a random survey by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) on major private Nairobi hospitals reveal that the patients are being charged a deposit of up to Kshs 650,000 for an ICU bed.
The letter dated 23rd March and addressed to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe revealed the shocking amount of money covid-19 patients have to give out to be admitted in some of the city hospitals for example Nairobi Hospital, Kenya University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH).
For instance, MP Shah Hospital charges a whooping Kshs 650,000 to admit a patient to their ICU ward. The hospital has only 6 ICU beds which are currently fully occupied.
Nairobi West Hospital, on the other hand, charges Kshs 300,000 for a patient to be admitted to their ICU ward which has a total of 46 ICU beds and only 23 of those are full.
With all its 32 ICU beds which are currently full, KUTRRH charges Kshs 200,000.
Nairobi Hospital charges Kshs 130, 000 for admission to the facility. They have 36 ICU beds and the hospital does not require the money to be paid as long as there is a guarantee to be paid.
Kenyatta National Hospital is the only hospital that does not demand a deposit. It’s the leading hospital with the number of ICU beds standing at 86.
As of March 23rd, Kenya had a total of 1,073 patients admitted to various hospitals across the country, out of which, 141 were admitted in ICU, 34 on ventilatory support machine and 99 on supplementary oxygen.