A 14-year-old school girl who has been nursing multiple wounds following repeated rape and assault by her father has died at a Kisumu hospital. The minor — Veronica Achieng’, a Class Six pupil at Rota Primary School — died at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital yesterday morning.
Prior to her death, her aunt was in the process of transferring her to the Nakuru Women Hospital for specialised care. The hospital’s acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Peter Okoth confirmed the death.
“The patient was to be transferred to Nakuru but we decided to hold on because she was unstable. We were working on procedures to save her life before her condition suddenly deteriorated fast, then we lost her,” Dr Okoth said.
The girl hailed from a troubled family, that basically struggles to survive. Her father is a jail bird who has spent a year at Kodiaga Prison remand for sexually assaulting her. The girl’s mother suffered severe depression after spending days in police custody after she was arrested for failing to testify against her husband. Police say the case has dragged for the past year due to lack of witnesses because the accused would always call the wife and daughter in the dead of the night from the prison to threaten them.
Sources say he threatened to kill them if they heeded court summons. These made the wife and her sick daughter skip court sessions, resulting into her arrest two weeks ago.
The accused is also said to have raped his own mother, who later died at Rota village in the outskirts of Kisumu town. The girl’s aunt, Mrs Rose Owira, is the Good Samaritan who has been fighting for her survival.
“This girl has suffered for the past one year. Her father is in prison remand for turning her into a wife. She has been operated on twice and she was not improving. This young girl had gone through a lot of pain,” she said.
She said she rushed Achieng’ to hospital on May 31 after finding her abandoned in the family house. “The girl was to undergo an operation early this week. On Sunday night, some nurses told us to go home because they had started their strike,” a shaken Owira said.
Waive the bill
The family is now faced with a Sh7,862 bill for her short stay at the facility. Ms Owira is appealing to the hospital authorities to waive the bill as well as that of the mortuary. Ms Owira said the girl was first saved by a Senior Deputy Director of Medical Services, Dr James Obondi who operated on her for free when she was first rescued from the father last year.
Owira was alerted of her niece’s plight by a neighbour. “My brother was arrested after it was alleged she had been defiling the daughter.Their three children have been living in abject poverty. Last week, I was called by a neighbour that Achieng’ was in pathetic condition and I went and took her to hospital,” said Owira.