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Court awards Sh38 million to Busia victims of toxic injection

By Ignatius Odanga | Published Thu, December 21st 2017 at 00:00, Updated December 20th 2017 at 21:57 GMT +3
One of the children who suffered paralysis after a malaria injection at Akichelesit dispensary in Busia. The 28 children have been awarded Sh38 million.[File, Standard]

In summary

  • Parents win battle for compensation against health department
  • 28 young patients suffered various forms of paralysis after receiving malaria injections.

The county has been ordered to pay Sh38 million to 28 children who suffered paralysis after receiving malaria injections at a local dispensary.

The children received the injections at Akichelesit dispensary in Teso North in July 2015.

After receiving the injection, the children developed weak limbs, hands and spinal cords.

They were airlifted for specialised treatment at Nairobi Hospital before returning home to nurse various levels of disability. Some have since become mentally challenged.

Busia resident magistrate Josephine Maragia ruled the children were victims of professional negligence and were not given proper diagnosis and treatment by a competent medical practitioner.

The Sh38 million will be distributed between the children depending on the level of disability suffered.

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Eleven of the victims will take home Sh2.5 million each while ten were awarded Sh200,000 each.

One more victim was awarded Sh2 million while four others will receive between Sh1.6 million and Sh1.2 million each.

The court will today make a ruling on the last two victims and determine how much each should be compensated.

The ruling marked the end of a long wait for justice by the children and their parents.

Permanent disability

In her ruling, Ms Maragia said victims suffered permanent physical disability of between 5 to 20 per cent.

“It is unfortunate for a child born without any disability to wake up and find himself in that state. He is likely to suffer mental anguish,” she ruled.

Franklin Omoit, Faustine Orukan, Velin Abita, Chripus Osinya, Vivian Asere,Kelin Amukanga, Zakayo Onyapidi, Maureen Aila, Edgar Juma, Cate Atengo and Patience Ambita suffered 20 per cent physical disability and were paid Sh6,000 damages each on top of compensation.

 

“In the doctor’s opinion, the plaintiffs have permanent physical disablement which affected their ability to walk,” the court heard.

Shilda Iloka, Kelvin Omuse, Mariam Adeke, Ryan Obonyo, Gedron Iloka, Gravin Emodo, Salome Nafula, James Esron, Teddy Ejuma and Purity Atyang did not suffer permanent physical disabilities but were awarded Sh200,000 and additional Sh6,000 in damages.

Blessings Okirodi and Shadrack Odoi were each awarded Sh1.2 million plus special damages of Sh6,000 after a doctor’s report showed they suffered permanent physical disability of about five per cent. Hudson Apuru was awarded Sh2million plus special damages of Sh6,000 for suffering 15 per cent permanent physical disability.

Earlier, the county assembly passed a motion to have the victims compensated.

Bukhayo North/Walatsi MCA and Legal Affairs team chairman Gardy Jakaa has two months to craft compensation guidelines. He promised to follow up on the payments.


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