Kajiado County Referral Hospital was thrown into a state of panic and confusion on Wednesday after a patient on arrival announced she had cholera.
The patient, who had been diagnosed with cholera virus almost 2 hours at Kitengela Medical Services, some 45 km away, arrived at Kajiado referral hospital at around 2.30 pm on Wednesday.
County Director of Medical Services, Dr. Ezekiel Kapkoni, confirmed the government facility received the patient, who said had travelled from Kitengela.
“Immediately she said she had been diagnosed with cholera strains at the Kitengela hospital, we isolated her together with another person who had accompanied her,” said Kapkoni on Thursday.
Earlier reports indicated that as soon as the patients had arrived at the hospital and announced her status, all the nurses and patients at the reception ran in different directions.
It took the effort of senior nurses and medical doctors to clear the area and order for disinfection of the entire place.
The patient, according to eye witness at Kajiado referral hospital was accompanied by her fiancé were together rushed to TB manyata which is outside the hospital’s gate for observation.
Kapkoni on Thursday said the patient is responding to treatment but accused the doctors and administrators of Kitengela Medical Services of releasing a confirmed cholera patient to mingle with the public.
“They should have isolated the patient and ask for support from us. This is a serious lapse in managing a highly infectious case. She endangered her life and those of the passengers she travelled together in a matatu to Kajiado town,” said Kapkoni.
But the Kitengela Medical Services administrator, Moses Saningo, absolved himself from blame saying; “Already, we had two other patients diagnosed with cholera and established that there was no space for her,”
Saningo said doctors separated the alleged patient from other sick people with an aim of arranging an ambulance that would take her to the referral hospital in Kajiado, but that she disappeared and never to be seen again.
The administrator said when the hospital’s ambulance had arrived, an effort to look for the woman failed to materialise.
Kapkoni, however, gave assurance that the case at the referral hospital has been contained and the patient is responding well to drugs.
He said the man who escorted the woman is also under observation, but the fate of the people who travelled with them in a matatu from Kitengela to Kajiado is not known.
Whatever happened on Wednesday, obviously, brings to light a breach in cholera control protocols.
Kapkoni agrees it was a breach because it could have been controlled and managed at the Kitengela hospital immediately it was diagnosed.