29 March 2018

Kenya: KNH Adopts Measures to Ensure Safety of Patients

Kenyatta National Hospital has said it has put in place measures to protect patients and prevent a repeat of the incidents that have recently resulted in national outrage.

The move comes in the wake of a string of recent incidents that put the hospital in the spotlight including a surgery mix-up on February 19, a controversial caesarean section on January 26 and allegations of sexual assault of new mothers levelled against mortuary attendants last month.

In a Thursday meeting with media editors, acting chief executive officer Thomas Mutie said the hospital is determined to solve its areas of weaknesses.

"We have launched a revised set of standard operating procedures, which we expect our staff to adhere to, in addition to the World Health Organization and Ministry of Health guidelines," Dr Mutie said.

Among the changes the hospital has implemented are increased CCTV cameras and security officers within the facility, including deployment of National Youth Service personnel.

MEDIA

He said the hospital had also embarked on an open door policy towards the media.

Dr Mutie however warned journalists against sensational reporting.

"As much as it is the public's right to get the whole story, the media sometimes can pick a statement made off the record and turn it into the main story, thereby deflecting attention from the major issues," he said.

Patient safety director Lydia Okutoyi said errors are not limited to the hospital, but are global.

"We have only recently began to collect data on medical errors and it is a worldwide problem. Healthcare comes with a degree of risk and it is important for us to investigate each incident," she said.

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