A governor was ‘treated’ by a watchman when he visited a dispensary in his county, as medical staff deserted duty.
Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos, who presented himself at Sangurur Dispensary in Marakwet West as a villager, was attended to by one of the guards on Friday morning.
He waited on the bench like other patients and when his turn to see the ‘doctor’ came, he told the watchman that he was feeling dizzy.
The quack doctor, armed with a stethoscope and thermometer, was about to start his diagnosis when the county boss stopped him.
Mr Tolgos made the impromptu visit to the health centre and others in the county after receiving reports that doctors and nurses were absconding duty with impunity, and delegating duty to support staff.
The county boss was surprised by the number of dispensaries where watchmen and other support staff were diagnosing diseases, prescribing drugs and even injecting patients.
“We have a crisis as a county in the health department.
A watchman, without any training on medicine or nursing, is diagnosing malaria, typhoid, pneumonia and other common diseases, and treating people,” he said, as he put lazy medical staff on notice.
Patients at Sisiya, Kamogo and other health centres in remote areas of Marakwet West, Marakwet East and Keiyo North districts were also being attended to by watchmen when Mr Tolgos visited them.
The governor was accompanied by County Health Director John Osore and World Vision officials, who handed over hospital equipment to the dispensaries.
Dr Osore vowed to take action against health workers who were not on duty without permission.
During the tour, it also emerged that health facilities in the county are facing an acute shortage of essential drugs.
“It is only paracetamols that are remaining,” said a clinical officer in Kerio Valley.
Dr Osore blamed the shortage on Kenya Medical Supplies Agency and the national government