Nurses at the Bondo sub-county hospital on Monday, November 9, came under heavy criticism after announcing that they had purchased a hearse.
The nurses posted a photo on social media showing the Acting Chief for Health Eunice Fwaya commissioning a hearse with a comment that their two years of savings had bore fruit.
Their achievement, however, sparked reaction with some pointing out that there was a clear conflict of interest in nurses owning and operating a hearse.
“This is a step in the wrong direction by the nurses,” said Bondo Nurses Welfare Association member John Ogeya.
Area residents were also not to happy with the idea, with many indicating that it was unfair competition since the nurses worked at the hospital.
Fwaya and the county’s Acting County Director of Communication Auscar Wambiya have since defended themselves saying that nurses always did their best while attending to patients.
However, the two stated that despite their hard work to ensure patients were in good care, some still succumbed to illnesses.
The two indicated that nurses also died while in line of duty, being the first point of contact with patients.
An official of the nurses association, Dominic Omollo, said that locals would benefit from the services offered by the hearse, indicating that on many occasions bereaved families had often requested to ferry the bodies using ambulances.
“I often explain to them that the policy does not allow it, and you can see how dejected they are after that answer,” he stated.
He added that the nurses mission was not business but to get a long-term solution to the problem of ferrying bodies in the county.
“We had to get a hearse to ferry the body of our colleague from Bondo to Kisii and we spent up to Ksh24,000. This is how we hatched the idea of buying our own hearse in order to cut down costs as well as give our departed colleagues a decent send-off,” Omollo added.
“We swore on oath to save lives and there’s no way we can go otherwise in order to get money from our hearse,” he concluded.