Doctors and nurses began a nationwide strike after talks called by the Health ministry collapsed on Sunday evening. The strike has severely affected Mathari hospital as patients used the opportunity to run away from the mental institution.
Mathari Mental Hospital in Nairobi has been a beehive of activities as a major operation has been launched to apprehend more than 100 mental patients who fled.
Workers at the mental facility downed tools after talks called by the Health ministry collapsed on Sunday evening.
Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu has condemned the strike saying Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists Union (KMPDU) failed to meet ministry officials for negotiations and decided to carry on with the strike.
The health CS also said the strike was premature and illegal as the court had given the two warring sides 90 days to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement.
Patients at Mathari Hospital must have gotten wind of the strike even before it started, as early as 6am there were reported cases of escapes from the mental facility.
Photos of patients fleeing from Mathari hospital provided the much needed evidence to prove that there was a disaster happening at the country’s biggest mental facility.
Some photos showed mental patients scaling the perimeter wall surrounding Mathari hospital as passersby watched in agony.
Other photos showed escapees from Mathari hospital trekking towards town; one photo showed a patient who looked like a minor rushing towards the city center. He was spotted around Muthaiga police station area.