How Mama Lucy Hospital steered through the gas depot disaster

In the wake of the tragic LPG explosion at a gas refilling plant in Nairobi’s Embakasi area on Thursday night last week, Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital has refuted media reports of chaos and disarray in the treatment of the victims.

Contrary to allegations, the hospital says it successfully attended to a total of 216 patients, with some receiving treatment at the hospital’s orthopedic center. Mama Lucy Hospital conducted 50 X-rays, 10 ultrasounds, and 8 CT scans. Remarkably, the hospital recorded zero deaths in connection with the accident.

Official statistics show that following the explosion, a total of 280 people were injured and six have sadly lost their lives.

Addressing concerns about the quality of treatment, Suzanne Silantoi, CECM of Health, Wellness & Nutrition for Nairobi City County, stated in a Sunday release, “Contrary to the allegations of inadequate treatment, we want to clarify that every effort has been made to provide comprehensive medical care to those affected.”

To manage the crisis effectively, Mama Lucy Hospital says it reinforced its manpower by adding 10 doctors and 15 nurses who worked tirelessly in real time to attend to all the victims.

Managing burn wounds

The hospital further clarified the management of burn wounds, noting that treatment varies based on the degree of burns.

Superficial burns are managed with painkillers, antibiotics, and burn creams, and are not covered. Higher-degree burns, on the other hand, are managed as inpatients and typically dressed.

Suzanne Silantoi highlighted the importance of public education on the various ways of managing burns to prevent misinformation from media houses. “Of the patients treated, the majority—about 192—were managed with antibiotics, painkillers, and burn cream,” she added.

Last year, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) rejected three applications for construction permits for an LPG storage and refilling plant at the site of the explosion due to the high population density around it.

The Emabakasi incident underscores the need for stringent safety measures and regulatory compliance in such critical facilities.

President William Ruto blames corruption, lack of integrity, and greed among government officials for the gas depot explosion.

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NEMA suspends four officials

In response, the President directed the dismissal of state officials implicated in irregularly granting licenses for the operation of a gas plant that ultimately led to an explosion.

The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has already suspended four senior officials suspected of unprocedural issuance of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) license for the Embakasi Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) gas plant.

The suspended officers include the Director of Environmental Compliance, Acting Deputy Director of Compliance, Senior Environmental Officer, and the Head of Environmental Impact Assessment.

NEMA Board of Management Chairperson Emilio Mugo noted, “On 2nd February 2023, a record of decision was made to issue the proposed project with an EIA license No. NEMA/EIA/PSL/23819. The license was issued with mandatory EIA license conditions for the project proponent to comply prior to the commencement of the construction works of the LPG plant/facility.”

Mr. Mugo further stated that the four officials allegedly collaborated with the owners of Derdols Petroleum Limited, operating under the business name Maxxis Nairobi Energy, to circumvent established processes.

This occurred despite other government agencies declining to grant clearance, raising concerns about regulatory oversight and adherence to safety protocols.

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