During this pandemic times, Hospitals are the only hope but things are absolutely the opposite in Nairobi-based Lang’ata Hospital.
Yesterday, Lang’ata Hospital was raided by Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technology Board and closed down indefinitely after it emerged that its laboratory has been carrying out fake Covid-19 tests.
Beware of laboratories which are swindling unsuspecting members of the public by conducting FAKE COVID-19 TESTS. COVID-19 TEST is free of charge to the public pic.twitter.com/LA4ObjoQuf
— Mike Sonko (@MikeSonko) July 9, 2020
According to initial probe by Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technology Board, the hospital management has allegedly been colluding with some staff at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) to charge and conduct unauthorised Covid-19 tests.
Kenyan Bulletin has been informed that the hospital has been charging patients Sh5,500 for the tests then ferrying them in an ambulance to Kemri for the actual tests.
The hospital has been misleading the public that it has the capacity to conduct the tests. While many would ask what the hospital has done wrong as far as the set procedure is followed, KEMRI was against it.
I honestly don't see what Lang'ata Hospital did wrong.that story by @ntvkenya was just sensational and based on ignorance. The tests are being done in KEMRI, so what is the issue? The cost? Every Hospital now wants to test patients before admission. So what is the issue? pic.twitter.com/TuAl76dPfi
— Ohta Ryota (@Ohta_Ryota) July 9, 2020
Corona Virus samples are not just like any other blood samples and this highly infectious and deadly virus is not something to gamble profits on.
Early last month, KEMRI refuted claims that they have arranged a partnership with local Health facilities to boost their testing capabilities.
We wish to state that KEMRI is not in partnership with Langata Hospital or any other health facility for that matter
— Kenya Medical Research Institute (@KEMRI_Kenya) July 5, 2020
Patrick Kisabei, CEO of the laboratory technicians’ board, said they are trying to establish if there was any memorandum of understanding of any public institution that has the capacity to test Covid-19.
“The reason why we have decided to close this institution is that they are lying to the public that they are doing the Covid-19 tests while they are not,” he said.
During the raid, the team also found out that the hospital was stocking and using expired reagents for tests. They also found government labelled test kits which are not for sale at the facility despite it being a privately owned and run.
The director of the hospital, the chief operations officer, laboratory manager and the lab technologists were all arrested and spent the night in police cells as investigations commenced.
Last month, the Health Ministry warned the public that counterfeit Covid-19 testing kits have penetrated the market and advised Kenyans to only use the real-time PCR tests approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In March, Dr Pravan Pancholi, the proprietor of Avane Clinic in Nairobi, and his co-accused Ndinda Kaleve were later charged in a Nairobi court with making a false advert claiming to sell coronavirus test kits.
The suspects were arrested in a raid by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council at Yaya Centre, Nairobi.
The dermatology and medical spa had issued a flyer claiming to offer Covid-19 tests just days after Kenya confirmed its first case of the virus.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had also warned that anyone found taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis would be dealt with by the authorities.