Anger As Frustrated Kenyans Queue for Hours At Mbagathi Hospital, Denied Covid-19 Vaccine

Christopher Black/WHO, WHO Africa Region, GCIS/Flickr, Sila Kiplagat/Nation Media GroupCovid-19 vaccination.

17 JUNE 2021

The Nation (Nairobi)

By Nasibo Kabale

Frustrated Kenyans lined up at the Mbagathi Hospital, Nairobi this week hoping to get the second dose of the Covid-19 jab after receiving text messages from the Health Ministry.

However, despite arriving before the break of dawn and queuing for hours, the promise of a second shot in the arm was not be.

Kenyans who arrived as early as 4am Thursday were still standing in the cold, with communication from the hospital's management not forthcoming.

A nurse stationed at the desk where people were queuing simply referred them to a Ministry phone number where they could inquire when they would get the coronavirus vaccine.

The number, 0721311808, is barely legible and is written on a paper that has accumulated dust. At the gate, a sign written on manila paper reads: "No parking, No Covid-19 vaccine". There's no messaging for people who got the SMS from the Ministry on what else to do.

By 10.20am, they had had enough. They began yelling at the lady at the desk who had told them to direct their inquiries to Afya House. The shouting match escalated and a security guard was forced to come rescue her from the frustrated crowd.

No guarantees

Francis Manyasa, Ali Ramadhan, Albert Opisa and Job Kubai are friends aged 58 years and above. They received their first dose at Mutuini Hospital, so when they received a text message on Tuesday to get their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Mbagathi Hospital, they were relieved.

"We though getting the message was a guarantee that we would get the second jab today and yet here we are. No communication has been relayed since we got here," said Mr Manyasa.

The nurse stationed at the desk finally addressed a smaller crowd around her, saying that they had vaccinated 300 people on Wednesday and that the vaccine was unavailable.

"We vaccinated the whole of last week but this week we have received no vaccines on Tuesday and today," she said.

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