Coffin traders operating within the vicinity of hospitals and health facilities across Elgeyo Marakwet County might soon be asked to move out.
This follows a move by the Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly to pass a motion asking the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Finance and Economic Planning to put in place measures that will ensure the traders operate from a place where they are less visible to the members of the public seeking health services.
In the motion moved by Kapyego Member of County Assembly Evans Limo, the MCAs expressed concerns over the high concentration of coffin traders near health facilities among them the Iten County Referral Hospital (ICRH) and other health facilities in the county.
The MCAs want the traders’ operations regulated – in what might force the county to relocate them.
Already, the move has attracted mixed reactions from members of the public, with some welcoming it while others said it was a non-issue, and would not help in improving service delivery.
“This is truly an important motion, u can’t display a coffin to a patient visiting a health facility, it’s like having a morgue at the gate of a hospital, meanwhile service delivery is core,” said one of the Facebook users, Julius Kiptanui.
“Culture, Just seeing a coffin on display instills a lot of fear among the Keiyos and Marakwet, This is a good move!,” added another user George Malakwen
Others were however against it and challenged the MCAs to focus on passing motions that will improve service delivery.
“Coffins around hospitals is a non-issue, your efforts should concentrate on adequate healthcare staff, uninterrupted flow of supplies, consistent quality enforcements, affordability of healthcare,” said Chelal Weriitab Korongoryot
“How will this improve service delivery? Work towards pragmatic laws and policies and not superstition. You are only increasing costs to the affected people,” added Jonathan Kimutai.
It is only recently that the neighboring Trans Nzoia County banned sell of coffins near the County Referral Hospital in Kitale town.
“Those shops that have mushroomed near hospitals, especially the county referral, have become an eyesore and it haunts patients seeking treatment at the facilities. I know that not all who seek treatment at the hospitals will make it but it is disgusting for the business owners to put their business in our hospital gates as a reminder to the sick that they either get out of the hospital well or in their coffins,” said Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba.