By Abraham Wangila.
The county government of Busia
has come under sharp criticism for not equipping the quarantine facilities with
basic requirements after a picture of a woman and her child in one of the centers
surfaced online. In a picture, a woman and her child are seen seated on the
floor of a dormitory with several beds without mattresses surrounding them.
According to the police authorities in Busia,the woman was put under forced
quarantine at Kisoko Girls High School after she was found breaking the curfew
rules.Kisoko Girls High School is one of the schools that the county government
of Busia identified as quarantine centers.However,the deplorable state of the
school dormitory has ensued serious discussions on whether the county
government inspected the quarantine facilities before approving them.
According to the ministry of
health guidelines, the quarantine centres should have basic requirements like mattresses,
enough washrooms, space, security and enough water. Before one is quarantined,
he or she taken to his or her home to pick essential things like extra clothes,
blanket, sheets, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, sleepers, cups and plates. The
police officers in Nambale did not allow Caroline Akumu to pick any of these
and after damping her at the facility, she was left without any instructions or
anybody to check on her.
The poor state of quarantine
facilities in Busia and around the country has been blamed for causing mental
torture to some people that have been taken there. Elizabeth Halloway, a South
African lady that had been quarantined at Kenya Industrial Training Institute
in Nakuru committed suicide after the government refused repeatedly to transfer
her to a place of choice. Some people from quarantine have complained of
bedbugs,boredom and little medical attention.
“Men in these facilities are
forcing us to sleep with them. They keep knocking on our doors during odd
hours.They sometimes threaten to break them,”said one of the ladies in a
There are 1254 Kenyans in
quarantine facilities who were arrested for defying curfew orders.The Senate
has termed the move of putting curfew offenders in a forced quarantine illegal
and called upon the government to look for a better alternative of punishing
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