The two main radiotherapy machines have been out of service for the past six weeks, painting a bleak picture of the situation. According to a hospital source who spoke to Saturday Nation, management has ordered the parts for the machine.
“We are waiting for them to be delivered so that it can be repaired . We’ll get things up and running in the coming weeks.”
At first, management had indicated that they would wait for the manufacturer from India to come and fix the machine just for them to change the tune.
It turns out that the two companies have not reached an agreement on who should pay for the company’s engineers’ travel expenses. It’s not clear if they had a contract about who was going to fix the machine.
Many cancer patients prefer KNH because of its affordability. Those who had come from afar and had nowhere else to go sat on benches and waited for the equipment to be repaired. you are in pain Some are alone and lonely.
Today, when a patient is diagnosed with cancer at KNH, he/she has to wait six months before he/she is put on the treatment list. The hospital is not accepting new patients due to the down system.
Repair of the machines
Patients were booked until April next year, according to KNH data. And now the hospital is trying to use one of the remaining devices to prepare her for treatment.
Three patients, who have since returned home and are awaiting the hospital’s call back, said they could only pray to God to prolong their life.
“I started my treatment last year and when I came to my session on December 27th I was told that the device was having problems and that I would be back on January 3rd should be hospital. When I got back I was told to go home and wait for a call from the hospital,” Ms. Millicent Awino said.
A friend took her in, but after three days she had not received a call , so she returned home in Webuye.
Mrs. Awino has breast cancer. She is concerned that the cancer cells could spread to other parts of the body.
“Now that I am not receiving treatment I am in pain and no one can dress my wounds and it is affecting my health she says, hoping for a call from the hospital soon.
“Do you know how traumatizing it is to wake up every morning with an untreated wound? In any case, the cells are active and multiplying. If the government is listening and taking care of us then let them do something or I will be buried before my 42nd birthday which is in March.”
Radiation therapy machine
Mildred Akinyi from Alego Usonga is not convinced that her sessions will depend on what she has heard from KNH nurses any time soon.
“I went to the hospital three times and was told that my sessions would not be until the March as I was booked for December which has now passed. If I’m lucky enough to be there, that’s okay, if I die before that, that’s okay too. I am weary of the pain and expense.”
She is hoping to raise money to help her conduct sessions at a private hospital before the equipment is repaired. Your medical appeal is next week.
“This hospital has been a savior to many, but it had begun to detect a problem with the machine. A session takes a patient three minutes at most, but when it was close to collapse, it took us 30 minutes. Then they should have called the technician. Aren’t we Kenyans? why are the poor always left alone?”
The two are among thousands of cancer patients who are concerned that the longer it takes for KNH to fix the devices, the more cancer cells will multiply in their bodies and the higher the risk of those losing the battle.
But this isn’t the first time a radiotherapy machine has failed in KNH. The three at the hospital care for thousands of patients at low cost. Two were repeatedly out of service throughout 2015 and early 2016, and many patients died.
This is due to an increase in patient numbers, which means the machines have to run against the current 24/7 impossible request.
Delayed cancer treatment
Many patients have died in the queues in the past and others have slept in corridors while waiting for treatment, which was often late.< /p>< p>Cancer treatment in Kenya is offered at a reduced rate in hospital as an outpatient service – a single session for Sh500. A similar session in private hospitals costs between Sh5,000 and Sh10,000.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 29% of patients missed or delayed cancer treatment in 2019, and the main obstacles were accommodation in Nairobi and transportation to and from KNH.
More than 3,000 new patients begin treatment at the hospital each year.
A nurse said once a patient begins treatment, they must undergo 25 sessions continuously from Monday to Friday.
“The machines can never rest because the demand for the services is very high. It needs to be fixed first.”
Calls and messages to Dr. Evanson Kamuri, KNH’s Chief Executive Officer, remained unanswered at press time.