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Couple stuck with dead infant for two years wants answers

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It has been two long years for one couple in Nairobi, who lost their baby at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital at birth and in the baby’s place they got a corpse – someone else’s dead baby.

Daniel Githui 35, and Consolata Mumbi, 25, have had to commission a DNA test to clear any doubts that the dead baby is not theirs.

All this while, the body has been lying at the City Mortuary. And now the Directorate of Criminal Investigations has had to be brought in to help solve the puzzle of the missing child.

The Saturday Nation visited the couple at their one-room house in Pangani. Sitting side by side, they said that they believe their baby is out there somewhere, alive.

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

“My baby would be two years and a month today,” said Ms Mumbi, fighting back tears. “I strongly feel that he is alive. I remember him every day and pray that God links me up with him someday.”

The loss of their baby has caused them many sleepless nights.

The matter, which has been investigated by Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC), has now been handed over to the DCI as doctors deem the matter a crime.

Ms Mumbi remembers with dread January 19, 2018, when she went into labour and was rushed to the Kiambu District Hospital.

The baby was overdue and that day she experienced bleeding and slight back pains.

After an all-night labour, the following morning she was transferred to Pumwani Maternity Hospital, where she arrived at around 9pm. Her birth canal was not opening up adequately and it was not until around 2am that she was booked for a Caesarean section, having lost a lot of blood and with the baby in distress. But she says she was wheeled into the theatre at 6.30am.

Her husband, meanwhile, waited outside the theatre, pacing in the corridors, anxiously awaiting the good news. About 20 minutes later, Mr Githui was called in.

“They informed me that our baby was already dead and said it weighed 3.9 kilos. But the body they showed me was already stiff and cold. The umbilical cord was even dry. I disputed their account. It did not make sense and I refused to sign documents indicating that my wife had a stillbirth,” he said.

The hospital did not allow their relatives to see the body.

SIGN PAPERS

He asked to see his wife, but they said “he was complicating matters further”. They said he should sign the papers and leave. He did not sign but left briefly.

Ms Mumbi woke up in the recovery room to find two male nurses standing by her bedside.

“They told me to write that I had a stillbirth and sign the piece of paper,” she said. “I was still confused. I did as they said and the nurses later transferred me to the ward.”

The confused couple was later asked to decide whether they would bury the dead baby or “let the government bury her”. They wanted something different: A DNA test, for every indication was that the dead baby was not theirs. This did not go down well with the hospital.

Ms Mumbi was discharged from the facility after four days to continue with medication at home. The couple decided to pursue the case and reported the incident at the Kiambu Police Station. After a meeting with a hospital representative and the police, they were advised to undertake a DNA test to resolve the puzzle.

Samples were obtained on February 18, 2018 and taken to the Government Chemist. A procedure they thought would take, at most, two months ended up taking more than a year.

Mr Githui constantly called the investigators, seeking to know why the results had not been released. He also visited several human-rights organisations that kept exchanging letters with the government.

DNA RESULTS

He lost his job in May 2019 for perpetually asking for off days and picking up calls against the employer’s rules, as he followed up the matter.

Not giving up, the couple visited the Commission for Administrative Justice (Ombudsman), who wrote a letter demanding to know from the Government Chemist why the release of the DNA results had delayed despite an authorisation to expedite it for legal reasons.

In response, Mr Ali Gakweli of the Government Chemist on July 29, 2019 replied saying the delay was occasioned by a backlog of forensic case files.

“The case was received in our laboratory on February 19, 2018. The case file was actually prioritised for expeditious analysis. However, there have been several technical challenges that have impeded smooth and efficient flow of work at the department,” said Mr Gakweli and he asked the DCI to collect the results as had been concluded.

“Based on the above findings, Consolata Mumbi and Daniel Githui are excluded as biological mother and father to Baby Consolata Mumbi,” Government analyst Dr J.K. Kimani wrote on July 25, 2019.

Although they were happy to know the dead baby is not theirs, this news opened another chapter — of seeking their biological child. They so much hope she or he is alive, but even if not, finding the body will save them the sleepless nights, gruelling walks from office to office and, most importantly, give them closure.

They were advised to sue the hospital, but the lack of money for legal fees made the option untenable.

Contacted, Pumwani hospital administrator George Mosiria told the Saturday Nation that they had given the Ombudsman a blow-by-blow account on what transpired and wouldn’t wish to comment further.

KMPDC chairman Dr Daniel Yumbya, in a letter dated June 19, 2020, urged DCI to take action.

“The disciplinary and ethics committee of the council noted that the issues raised are criminal in nature, as they relate to the alleged swapping of newborns at Pumwani Maternity Hospital. The council does not have the jurisdiction to enquire into matters that are criminal in nature,” said the chairman.“It is therefore our considered opinion that this matter is best handled by the DCI for further action.”

By The Saturday Nation

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Health

NMS apologises for Pumwani child birth fiasco, takes actions

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All the four hospitals in the capital, which are run by the Nairobi County government, will now be manned by officers from the National Police Service to prevent disruption of services.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) announced this on Saturday after making several changes at Pumwani Maternity Hospital following an incident on September 13 in which a woman gave birth at the gate.

In a statement, NMS’ Director of Health Services, Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae, explained that the woman was denied entry into the facility.

Dr Kibaru-Mbae noted that the incident took place two days after nurses began a legal go-slow but added that essential services were still being offered.

“The security guard denied the patient access to the premises in a very unfortunate incident [but] a nurse from the maternity ward was notified,” she said, adding the medic rushed to the scene and helped with the delivery and the patient’s admission.

Apology

The agency apologised for the incident and said that going forward, officers from the NPS will augment provision of security at the four main county hospitals.

The other three are Mbagathi, Mama Lucy Kibaki and Mutuini.

“We take this opportunity to apologise to all Kenyans and mothers in particular for this unfortunate incident,” Dr Kibaru-Mbae said.

She assured the safety of the mother and child, saying they were both well and were discharged on Friday.

“NMS commends the nurses who quickly assisted the patient,” she said, adding Pumwani’s security team was changed and a customer care desk set up.

“NMS commits to train front office staff in all its facilities,” she added.

This is not the first time Pumwani has been in the limelight for the wrong reasons. Cases of mothers delivering outside the wards as well as those of child theft have been rife at the health facility.

by nation.africa

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Health

All about subdural hematoma, condition Nameless’ dad has been suffering from

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Kenyan artiste Nameless has revealed that his dad has been ailing from a condition known as Subdural Hematoma in medical terms.

A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood outside the brain. It occurs when there is a head injury.

The bleeding is under the skull and outside the brain, not in the brain itself. As blood pools, however, it puts more pressure on the brain.

In the case of Nameless dad, the condition had led to clots in the head which in turn were causing minor strokes.

Below are things to learn about the condition.

There are different symptoms to Subdural hematoma and some include

  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Change in behavior
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy or excessive drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Apathy
  • Seizures

The symptoms in subdural hematoma patients are not standard, it varies from one patient to another.

The conditions that influence the symptoms one has when battling subdural hematoma include

  • The size of the hematoma
  • Age of the patient
  • Other underlying medical conditions

Hematoma is majorly caused by a head injury, such as from a fall, motor vehicle collision, or an assault.

The sudden blow to the head tears blood vessels that run along the surface of the brain.

A subdural hematoma can be diagnosed using imaging tests, such as a CT or MRI scan.

Your doctor may also give you a physical examination to check your heart rate and blood pressure for evidence of internal bleeding.

An acute subdural hematoma can only be treated in an operating room.

A surgical procedure called a craniotomy may be used to remove a large subdural hematoma.

It’s normally used to treat acute subdural hematomas. In this procedure, your surgeon removes a part of your skull in order to access the clot or hematoma.

They then use suction and irrigation to remove it.

Results of hematoma may include

  • brain herniation, which puts pressure on your brain and can cause a coma or death
  • seizures
  • permanent muscle weakness or numbness.

By Mpasho.co.ke

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Health

Couple’s triumph after testing positive

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At the beginning of July this year, Geoffrey Alemba, a protocol officer in an international organisation in Nairobi was suffering from severe fever. He did not think much of it, hence he suffered through it for two more nights before seeking treatment on July 3 upon his wife, Sylvie’s insistence. The tests showed he had an acute bacterial infection. He was put on medication and went back home. By Monday July 5, the symptoms worsened , with a backache setting in.

When he began exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms such as nausea and dry throat he decided to seek treatment on July 8, with Sylvie offering to drive him to the hospital. His wife stayed with him as the doctors conducted a battery of tests, ranging from CT Scans to blood tests.

The last test was the nose swab whose results were expected to come out in 24 hours. Geoffrey was admitted and put on isolation, while Sylvie drove home, only to be arrested on her way there for staying out past curfew hours. After a tense twenty- four hours wait, Geoffrey was diagnosed positive.

Death sentence

“I remember breaking down after receiving the diagnosis. All I could remember immediately the doctor stepped out was the constant mention of death and Covid-19 in the same breath. It felt like a death sentence,” Geoffrey explains.

Geoffrey was also in shock as he had been careful both at work and at home. He was the guy who would always have a mask on, and was a vocal advocate for social distancing measures, putting on masks, hand washing and using sanitisers.

He called his wife immediately after his diagnosis and urged her to get tested. Sylvie tested positive, but with no symptoms.

After two days, his symptoms worsened, which necessitated him to be put on oxygen for four days. His doctor told him he was being treated for pneumonia and was put on drip for 10 of the 12 days he was admitted due to loss of appetite.

His body responded well to treatment and he stabilised enough for the second Covid test to be done before being released from hospital. The test came out positive and they opted for home-based care.

Sylvie had to prove that their home was fit to accommodate an ailing patient without posing a risk to other people, as per the Ministry of Health home care guidelines.

Discharged

Sylvie rearranged their second bedroom and bathroom into his quarantine quarters, bought paper plates and cups to prevent cross infection and he was discharged armed with multi-vitamins and an inhaler.

“First of all, if it wasn’t for God, it would have been worse. I thank him for life and for Sylvie. Sylvie has been supportive. She would cook for me masked and wearing gloves, place the food and drinks for me in disposable plates and cups, and gave me emotional support via phone through it all,” Geoffrey enthuses.

Geoffrey just finished using his inhaler two weeks ago, though he is still on multivitamins for an immunity boost. Four tests later, he has tested negative twice and is back to work. After five tests, his wife is also negative and back to work too.

“People at the office have been supportive. I cannot say I have been stigmatised on that end. Our landlord and neighbours have also been kind and supportive. Of course, there is that fear that you can almost feel emanating from friends. There is also this one incident which I find more hilarious than hurtful. I had parked my car in a place where the guard knows me. He came to check the car and on seeing me, quickly pulled up his mask, which had been lying on his chin and took off without a word,” he further elaborates.

Alemba is still a passionate advocate for people to practice the MOH guidelines for Covid-19 prevention. He is testament to the fact that Covid is real; he has a sizeable dent in his finances to show for it. He talks of the need to care for others as one can be asymptomatic and easily spread it to others. He talks with reverence of the doctors and nurses who walked him to recovery.

“Seeing the nurses sweating and still smiling in their PPEs as they took care of us was quite humbling. One nurse told us of how the neighbour’s children run away from her whenever they spot her since they know she works with Covid patients.

“Knowing that there are all these people who stand between the ailing and certain death is quite sobering. If for no other reason, they should inspire you to be better just so you do not unnecessarily risk their lives. This whole experience has made me be want to be kinder and to be gentle towards other people and their experiences. You never know what someone has gone through. Even when they share it, you may not grasp its full depth or breadth,” he concludes.

By PD.co.ke

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