Hospital horror: Gang attacks patients

Edward Nyabogo and Nickson Cheruiyot tell how thugs attacked John Lee International Hospital in Tena estate, Nairobi, on Monday evening. [David Gichuru, Standard]
A few minutes past 7pm on Monday, Edward Nyabogo received a call from his wife asking him to open the gate to their compound so she could drive in. Mr Nyabogo, a clinical officer who runs John Lee International Hospital near his home in Tena estate, left his clinic to open the gate.

But Nyabogo’s wife, who had the couple's 12-year-old nephew in the car, opted to drive to the clinic first. At 7.30pm, just after she arrived at the clinic, a gang of young men armed with pistols stormed in.

“My nephew was standing outside the car. They thought he was an adult because of his burly size and harassed him for the keys,” Nyabogo narrated.

The thugs then made their way into the hospital.

“I was sitting in the reception area chatting on my phone when the thugs stormed in and demanded the phone,” recalled Gladys Korir, one of the patients.

She said the gang hit any patients who resisted giving up their phones with the pistols. While some of the thugs seized phones and money, another group entered Nickson Cheruiyot's office.

Mr Cheruiyot runs the clinic with Nyabogo.

“I was attending to a patient and they ordered me to lie on the floor as they pointed a pistol at me,” Mr Cheruiyot said.

The gang made away with light hospital equipment including a stethoscope, valued at Sh13,000, an ultrasound machine worth Sh650,000 and a laptop worth Sh52,000.

“We receive most of our payments through M-Pesa and NHIF (National Hospital Insurance Fund), so they took our cash collections and patients’ and staff money, which came to about Sh50,000,” said Nyabogo.

Six pistols

Witnesses claimed that the thugs, who had six pistols between them, left on foot immediately after the attack, but had motorbikes parked nearby.

“The police responded within three minutes and followed the thieves, but lost track of them,” said Nyabogo.

The hospital management said the guard on duty was away the time of the robbery.

Business operators in the area have complained that crime has risen suddenly in the area since December.

Police said they were investigating the hospital incident.

Edward NyabogoJohn Lee International Hospital