Residents flock Lamu King Fahad hospital to catch a glimpse of Cuban doctors

County Chief Officer for Medical Services Abubakar Badawy (at the center) together with the two Cuban doctors posted in Lamu county. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: The number of patients and curious onlookers flocking the Lamu King Fahad hospital has more than tripled a week after the arrival of the Cuban specialists.

The hospital administration admitted that some of those who come seeking attention from the Cuban doctors aren’t normally badly off but rather curious to experience and interact with the Cuban doctors.

Speaking at his office at the hospital on Wednesday, the Medical Superintendent Ahmed Farid said doctors at the facility have had to pull up their sleeves in order to deal with the influx of patients more so following the arrival of the two specialists.

Lamu received two Cuban specialists, a physician and an orthopedic surgeon who have already commenced work in the town.

“I believe this sudden surge in numbers at this facility is mostly just out of curiosity. People just want to experience what it feels like to be attended to by our Cuban counterparts and it’s perfectly okay. We understand,” said Farid.

Farid had also lauded the two specialists for adapting fast to the environment of the region and to their work.

The hospital boss, however, noted that there were still major issues with translation since the two doctors aren’t well versed with the local Swahili dialect.

He however assured that the county was already in the process of acquiring a specialist translator who will accompany the two and help them communicate with patients until they can be able to do it on their own.

“There is still the issue of communication since the speak mostly their native language and some English. But we are glad they are very keen on learning Swahili and can already say a few words. We are however hiring a specialist translator who will be a medic himself to help them. In the meantime, we are working and doing the much we can,” said Farid.

He said the arrival of the two specialists had already brought down referral cases as had been previously been the norm.

“We are basically dealing with the cases that would have otherwise been referred here and so far it’s amazing that Lamu can for the first time in many years do so,” said Farid.