Patients admitted at Thika Level Five Hospital in Kiambu County are now at risk of contracting cholera after cleaners at the busy facility downed their tools over an unpaid seven-month salary.
The downing of tools comes a day after the county reported four Cholera-related deaths while 286 persons have been found to have contracted the deadly disease.
Our visit to the facility established that heaps of garbage remain uncollected while some equipment used in the delivery of medical services were unwashed.
Some medical doctors are also reported to have left the working station in the morning after they found their rooms unkept.
At the centre of the simmering row that could further paralyze operations of medical services is delayed salaries for the over 60 cleaners who have for the better part of today, December 30, 2022, spent the day relaxing within the hospital.
Addressing journalists outside the facility, some of the irate cleaners who sought anonymity over fears of being victimized or fired lamented that their bosses have been taking them in circles whenever they demand to know the progress of processing their dues.
Led by John Mumu (not his real name), the cleaners regretted that their houses were locked by their landlords months ago and some of them have been forced to turn the hospital into their home.
"Some of us have been sleeping here but are often regarded as thieves whenever we are found here at night. Our landlords persevered enough and were forced to lock our houses," Mumu said.
Those with school-going children regret that life has been tougher for them grappling to meet their daily obligations including paying school fees, repaying loans and feeding the children.
The furious cleaners revealed that despite getting meagre salaries of about Ksh10,000, their employers have been unwilling to remit the dues forcing most of them to become beggars.
"I have personally borrowed to a point that I have lost friends. We cannot continue like this when county staffers are getting their dues on time," Dorothy Mumbi (not her real name) said.
Recently, Kiambu governor Kimani Wamatangi confirmed that indeed some workers had gone for seven months without pay.
"When I assumed office, I discovered that some workers had gone for six to seven months without pay. This county had gone into billions of debt," Wamatangi said.