Catherine Wambua Soi, an Aljazeera correspondent based in Nairobi, is in mourning following the death of her father.
In a series of tweets, the journalist narrated her family’s harrowing experience while trying to help her father, who needed urgent medical attention.
Soi said her father was denied admission at Kitui Referral Hospital despite being in a critical condition.
She claimed that healthcare workers at the hospital turned away the man for lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) kits necessary to handle patients with breathing complications associated with Covid-19.
The media personality couldn’t understand how a public hospital located in a county with a fully operational textile factory (KICOTEC) lacked the gear crucial in the fight against Covid-19.
“My father is sick. He has kidney problems and needs urgent dialysis & has been doing poorly this week. Kitui Gen. hospital turned him away yesterday coz of breathing problems, can’t admit him with his oxygen that low, ” read a tweet posted on November 14.
“He developed breathing problems AM. Was taken to a private hospt #Jordan where he was put on oxygen but they could not do anything else until he got tested for COVID-19 and this, they say, can only happen at the Gen. hospital.
“My mom & nephew then drive him there. He is too weak to walk. His urine is contaminating his blood. A doc they speak to says he needs to get admitted & starts with p/work but then comes back and says sorry oxygen levels are too low to admit so you have to take him elsewhere.
“My mom is overwhelmed, my dad breathing is erratic. Doc suggests take him to Machakos or Nairobi or another hospital still in Kitui but further away where they deal with ‘covid patients’. His breathing is now btn 82-84 bpm.
“It’s now around 8pm. My dad still not out of the woods & the hospital in my parents hometown won’t admit him-will not suggest a covid test or a transfer him (with their ambulance) since my dad was critical to the so called covid centre in Kauwi.
“So my mom & nephew took him back home and did what they thought was best at that time -they called people to pray for him as we organise the best way to get him good help, also considering too weak for a long travel.
“Latest from Kitui gen hosp: Dad not admitted b/coz there is no PPE kit & nurses/docs understandably afraid. How is it possible in a county with @Kicotec manufacturing & exporting PPE.”
Latest from Kitui gen hosp: Dad not admitted b/coz there is no PPE kit & nurses/docs understandably afraid. How is it possible in a county with @Kicotec manufacturing & exporting PPE @jmueke @mamangilu @pkanini @kot @peterwambua2 @mueni_4 @FaithKasiva Smthing needs to give!
— Catherine Wambua- Soi (@C_SOI) November 14, 2020
Yesterday, Soi revealed to one of her concerned followers that her father had passed on.
He did not. Unfortunately he passed away. I will revisit the issue after I bury and mourn him. https://t.co/jUOETMOz69
— Catherine Wambua- Soi (@C_SOI) November 19, 2020
Soi’s experience reveals just how many Kenyans are suffering due to known challenges in the country’s healthcare system that need urgent intervention.