Health workers call for enhancement of security in hospitals after assault incident in Busia

Health workers call for enhancement of security in hospitals after assault incident in Busia

File image of Health Union Caucus Secretary and KMPDU Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah.

The Health Union Caucus has vowed to petition the Senate to modify existing laws to improve security measures in healthcare facilities.

In a joint statement to newsrooms on Friday signed by Health Union Caucus Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah, the health workers condemned the aforementioned incident labeling such cases a hindrance to Kenya's healthcare system.

"The Unions will be petitioning Senate to amend necessary legislation to provide for enhanced security measures within health facilities and enforcement of Occupational Safety and Health Act in health facilities," the statement reads in part.

"Such acts of aggression not only jeopardize the safety and well-being of healthcare professionals but also undermine the critical healthcare services they provide to the community. This incident is a stark reminder of the urgent need for enhanced security measures within healthcare facilities across the country."

The health workers likewise decried a notable increase in attacks targeting health workers across the country, further asserting that individuals responsible for these attacks are often not held responsible for their actions.

"Just the other day, health workers in Naivasha level 4 hospital were threatened at gunpoint. The police appeared 4 hours later. There are similar cases like the one in Migori and Kisii where assailants were indeed State officers and people who are expected to carry themselves with utmost decorum," said the health workers.

"It is concerning that almost all hospitals do not have scanners and anybody can get into the hospital with weapons without forgetting that a number of people seeking attention are mentally unwell. Health workers are exposed to these criminal acts especially during night duty."

The union further called for the arrest of the two individuals captured threatening the health workers at the hospital in Busia.

"In view of the foregoing; we demand the immediate arrest of the assailants who are now well known and the enhancement of security surveillance and intervention protocols in all health facilities across the country," they said.  

They also advocated for the provision of armed security personnel in all health facilities especially during night duties and the urgent implementation of Occupational Safety and Health Act within health facilities.

In the video documenting the Busia incident, a man and a woman can be seen harassing two nurses at the facility while hurling unprintable insults at them.

At some point, the woman is seen scattering objects lying on one of the nurses’ desks to the floor and tossing some at her while calling her names.

She then threatens to call somebody she only identifies as “Ababu,” as her accomplice also takes out his phone and tells the other person on the line to; “harakisha ukuje hapa sai, we have an emergency here!”

They then leave after noticing that someone else in the room is recording them on camera.

Reports indicate that the two had taken another person, who was allegedly intoxicated, to the facility for treatment and demanded to be attended to ahead of other patients who were already also waiting for treatment.

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