Protests Erupt After Hospital Denies Mother Access to Dead Infant

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    Inside a ward at Thika Level 5 Hospital in Kiambu
  • A Kiambu man lamented on the decision by a government hospital to deny him and his wife a chance to prove and mourn the death of their infant.

    Kiandutu residents protested outside Thika Level Five Hospital on Thursday, September 17, after Joel Maina accused the facility of allegedly concealing the whereabouts of his child, who was born on Friday, September 11. 

    He also accused the hospital of allegedly operating on his wife without his consent despite requesting for his contacts earlier on during admission. 

    "I hear it was a stillbirth, but the hospital has failed to show me the body. Again, they had my contacts and since Friday, they should have phoned and informed me of my child’s death.

    The Thika Level 5 Hospital in Kiambu County

    "When my wife was admitted at the facility, the infant was playing in the mother’s womb. She was taken to the theatre for a CS operation. When I visited on Saturday (September 12), the hospital blocked me at the gate despite identifying myself," Maina lamented.

    He added that he had not seen his wife for one week and had yet to be informed on her progress.

    Two days later, on a Monday, he forced his way into the hospital only to be asked to sign documents to allow his wife to undergo a second surgery after her condition worsened.

    "My efforts to reach her were futile. Some of the workers I spoke with affirmed to me that my child was alive.  

    "Now that my wife is in ICU, she may never know what happened. I need to speak with her to ascertain if the baby she delivered was alive," Maina cried adding that he did not trust the hospital owing to alleged cases of disappearances of infants.

    He demanded for a DNA test to ascertain the paternity of any baby the hospital would unite him with.

    Dr. Jesse Ngugi, the Hospital's Medical Superintendent alleged the infant was a stillbirth and was taken to the Thika Level Five Hospital mortuary.

    According to him, the baby died after the woman developed high sugar levels during surgery. 

    Data provided by the United Nations places infant mortality at 77 deaths per 1,000 live births, and under-five mortality is 115 deaths per 1,000 live births in Kenya.

    This means that one in every nine children (74,000 per year) born in Kenya dies before attaining his or her fifth birthday.

    Thika Level 5 Hospital in Kiambu County