Operations at the Machakos Level 5 Hospital were on Friday brought to a standstill after nurses downed their tools in protest of recurrent assaults by patients.
The nurses began protesting after a patient reportedly beat and critically injured a caregiver attending to him on Thursday.
A representative of the nurses confirmed the incident, noting that it was not the first time such an incident had occurred.
“Today, when I arrived at the hospital, I found nurses gathered. They protested up to the police station. When I sought reasons behind the protests, I was told one of them had been beaten,” said the nurses’ representative.
Intensive care unit at Nairobi South Hospital
Nairobi South hospital
“I have joined them here to report that nurses are being assaulted by the patients coming to the hospital,” he added.
According to the medical officer, he got wind of the incident on Thursday and immediately informed the medical superintendent and the director, urging the duo to look into the matter.
Nurses, he added, enjoy their rights as defined by labour laws just like every other worker and must be protected against harassment by clients.
“They are protected against any kind of assault, and if there is anybody with a bad intention, whoever it is, an action will be taken against them,” he noted.
The Medical official further noted that he would surrender to the police all the names of suspects involved in harassing nurses, vowing not to relent in the fight against such vices.
“I plead with the people of Machakos, please, let us get rid of politics from our hospitals, and I say, let the nurses and doctors be given enough time to provide services, and treat people, it is God who heals,” he said.
The protesting nurses marched through Machakos town as they headed to the police station, demanding an immediate arrest of the perpetrator.
They, however, did not clarify whether they filed a statement nor visited the office of Machakos governor Wavinya Ndeti, to seek more help.
Undated Photo of a Nurse Attending to a Patient at Government Hospital