Nairobi Health CEC contradicts Sonko on Pumwani infants death

Nairobi Health CEC contradicts Sonko on Pumwani infants death

Nairobi County Executive for Health Veska Kangogo has contradicted Governor Mike Sonko’s assertion of negligence in the death of 11 infants whose bodies were found stuffed in paper bags at Pumwani Maternity Hospital on Monday.

Ms. Kangogo as well as other Health officials insist that the circumstances surrounding the death of the newborns  could be accounted for.

Addressing the media at the maternity hospital on Tueday, Ms. Kangogo, who was flanked by Chief Health Officer Mahat Jimale said “the deaths have occurred from operations that are normal to health.”

According to Mr. Jimale, out of the 11 deaths, four were recorded as fresh stillbirths (foetus with no signs of life).

The Pumwani Chief Officer further noted that two deaths were macerated stillbirths, whereby the babies had already died in the womb by the time they were delivered.

He added that four were neonatal deaths, meaning the babies died within the first 28 days of life.

The 11th baby, according to Mr. Jamale, was brought to the hospital dead by a parent who wanted the Pumwani hospital to safely dispose it.

“The truth is that out of the 11 bodies that were confirmed yesterday we can account for each and every child with tagging and notification of deaths,” said Mr. Jamele.

Sonko, who found the bodies in a room at the hospital, said he was acting on a tip off by members of the public who informed him that the management had shut down machines at the maternity wing leading death of infants.

“Conducting an impromptu visit at Pumwani Hospital, where it’s alleged by members of the public that the management shut down the machines at the Maternity Wing leading to loss of lives of young ones. I want to categorically state that human life must be respected no mater the case.

“Stern action will be taken against anyone found to be sabotaging the good services offered to our mothers and sisters who come to deliver in this facility,” said Sonko in a Facebook post where he shared a video as he confronted attendants at the hospital.

Soon after the discovery, Governor Sonko suspended top officials at the facility including the entire board of the maternity hospital.

The suspended officials included Pumwani Hospital Superintendent Catherine Mutinda, Administration Officers Zadock Angahya and George Nyadimo as well as obstetrician gynecologist Dr James Kamau.

On its part, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) accuses Sonko of politicising the issue.

“We shall not stand by and let matters like this be politicized, then doctors are the ones to bear the brunt, no that can not be allowed by a governor who is making pedestrian declarations of suspensions,” said KMPDU Chairman Samuel Oroko

According to KMPDU Secretary Dr Thuranira, Pumwani hospital, which is under Governor Sonko’s purview should be operated by the national government.

“In this day and era, Pumwani Hospital, being the biggest maternity hospital in East and Central Africa should be run by the national government,” said Dr Thuranira. “Pumwani should not be run by the county office, a governor who is politicising everything, that’s unfortunate.”

It also surprisingly emerged that despite being a major health facility, Pumwani hospital has been operating without a mortuary or cold room to store bodies.

It is also said that there are no body bags to keep the deceased in before transfer to the morgue, with hospital staff having to make do with what is available.

 According to former KMPDU Chair Dr. Nelly Bosire, carton boxes and plastic disposal bags are the most available temporary storage for the infants who die at Pumwani hospital.

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