CS Nakhumicha: ‘Violence against healthcare workers will not be tolerated’

January 5, 2024

On Thursday, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha strongly condemned a member of the public for assaulting a nurse at Port Victoria Hospital in Busia County.

The incident, captured in a viral video clip, depicted a woman and a man verbally and physically assaulting the healthcare provider due to an apparent delay in attending to a patient experiencing breathing difficulties.

At one point, the woman can be seen scattering objects on a nurse’s desk onto the floor and hurling some at her while using offensive language. She also issued a threat to call someone identified only as “Ababu”, presumed to be Ababu Namwamba, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Youth Affairs.

The two then left upon realizing that someone else in the room was recording the incident.

The Nairobi Women’s Hospital College has since identified and castigated one of the culprits as a student currently enrolled in a theatre technology program, awaiting graduation.

An Attack on Entire Health System

In a statement, Nakhumicha said the assault was not just an attack on an individual but also the entire healthcare system.

“This recent case of assault on a healthcare worker endangers their lives and disrupts the vital services they provide to other patients and the community,” she said.

Healthcare workers deserve our utmost respect as they are the backbone of our healthcare system. They work tirelessly – sometimes under challenging conditions to ensure the well-being of all citizens across different hospital levels.”

The Health Minister commended the healthcare worker for staying calm and composed throughout the incident.

CS Nakhumicha at the same time issued a warning that legal actions would be taken against the perpetrators and called for respectful engagements between the public and healthcare workers.

“Violence against healthcare workers will not be tolerated and any person culpable of such an act will be apprehended and face the full wrath of the law,” she said.

The Secretary-General of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Dr. Davji Atellah, has also condemned the incident and further urged the relevant authorities to intervene and hold the culprits accountable.

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