Woman Denied Help Gives Birth Outside Hospital

A screengrab of the incident outside Pumwani Hospital, Nairobi on Friday, September 18, 2020

Update: Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris added that the incident is from a week ago, according to the hospital administrators. The doctors also informed her that the lady was attended too. 

Passers-by led demonstrations against the management of Pumwani Hospital, Nairobi, after a woman delivered her baby by the roadside, outside the facility's gates. 

The Friday, September 18 incident sparked uproar after the security guards denied the expectant mother access into the facility. 

Eyewitnesses lamented that the new mother had been rushed to the hospital by a taxi operator. 

The driver was left stranded after the guards locked the gates and watched from inside. 

Left: On lookers at the scene whereby a mother delivered a baby outside Pumwani Hospital on Friday, September 19, 2020. Right: The passers-by confront the security guards

"Hawezi bebwa. Siezi mbeba ako na uchungu mingi mtoto ashatoka! (I cannot carry her to another hospital. She is in so much pain and the baby has already been born)," the taxi driver lamented after he was confronted by passers-by.

A number of women started screaming at the guards while covering the mother with shawls. Men roughed up a number of the security personnel after they broke the chains locking the gates. 

Hospital staff reportedly came to her rescue after the uproar. The passers-by also confronted them for risking the lives of the mother and her newborn baby. 

Earlier on, a debate had ensued over whether the staff were negligent or whether doctors were on strike.

However, doctors in Nairobi County resumed duties on August 21 after signing an agreement with Governor Mike Sonko and Nairobi Metropolitan Services boss General Mohamed Badi. 

Neither Nairobi County, NMS, the Ministry of Health nor the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has issued a statement on the matter.

Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris condemned the hospital administrators and urged relevant authorities to look into it. 

"The mistreatment of a pregnant woman at the gates of Pumwani Maternity Hospital is a shameful indictment of our health facilities. An enduring state is judged by the social services to its most vulnerable citizens.

"We failed this mother and her child at her hour of need, yet the Universal Health Coverage is among President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda. I demand that the NMS and Inspector General speed up investigations into this matter," Passaris posted on her social media pages. 

A similar incident occurred on Monday, September 16 outside a hospital in Dandora, Nairobi.

Governor Sonko suspended two nurses after one Mary Atieno, delivered outside the hospital. Reports alleged that she lacked Ksh 20 registration fees required for admission. 

The Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi.
The Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi.