21 August 2014

Kenya: Patient Dies As Mombasa Doctors Strike

A 69-year-old man on Tuesday died in the streets of Mombasa town after failing to get medical attention at the Coast General Hospital.

Witnesses and close friends said John Mutua went to the hospital in the morning, but could not be attended to due to the go slow by medical staff at the facility.

He is said to have gone back to his place of work on Raha Leo street, Mwembe Tayari, where he runs a handcut leasing business.

A witness, Boniface Wamalwa, said Mutua engaged his colleagues in a conversation for some hours before lying down on a sidewalk. He is said to have died at about 4pm.

"He went to the hospital but came back complaining that he had not been attended to. He never woke up after lying down," he said.

Area village elder Issack Kamande said Mutua could have succumbed to health complications he has had for months.

Speaking to the Star on the phone, Kamande said he was called when Mutua had already died.

"He had some complications and at times he could not pass urine. He frequently went to the hospital for treatment and used a pipe to pass urine. We cannot rule that the death is because of the strike," he said.

Mombasa police boss Geoffrey Mayiek said:"The man was found lying unconscious on the ground. He was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead," Mayiek said.

The whereabouts of his family are still unknown.

Medics at the hospital have been on a go-slow since last week protesting delayed salaries and at least six patients have died since.

On Tuesday, Governer Hassan Joho made an impromptu visit at the hospital and tried to convince health workers to go back to work.

He promised to pay their salaries by tomorrow.

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