Pumwani Maternity Hospital closed to new patients as fumigation begins
The facility that on any normal day would serve hundreds of women remained closed as the 41 nurses who tested positive for COVID-19 spent their time in isolation.
The nurses’ union also opposed the move by the hospital administration to ask for individual contributions in support of the isolated healthcare workers.
At the main entrance of Pumwani Maternity hospital, the sign was all clear, a totally different picture at a facility that on normal days experiences an influx of patients seeking medication, particularly expectant women.
This coming two days after 41 healthcare workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19 and went into isolation, a majority through the home-based care while others isolated at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
The writing is on the wall: no visitors allowed in except for those coming to visit their kin already admitted.
The security officers are keen to note every detail of those coming in; they check through the list to determine who will access the wards as they try to scale down operations. Only one person from visiting relatives is given permission to pick their kin.
But, even so, there’s a new concern, the hospital administration has now written to the staff at the facility asking for contributions towards helping the nurses in isolation.
In a memo signed by the facility’s administrator, Nelly Induli, all members of staff have been asked to offer their various contributions.
“We kindly request for your support in cash and kind towards our fellow colleagues who have tested positive of COVID-19. Kindly send in your support through your unit in/charges,” read the memo.
The memo has rattled officials of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Nairobi chapter Chairperson Boaz Onchari who questioned the move.
“It is shocking that they are telling us to contribute for our colleagues in isolation yet there is a kitty for health workers welfare who actually fall victim in the line of duty,” said Mr. Onchari.
The hospital began conducting fumigation on Thursday afternoon two days since the cases were reported.
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