Mama Lucy hospital found culpable in pregnant woman's death

Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Nairobi's Embakasi. [File, Standard]

Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Nairobi's Embakasi has been found guilty of gross negligence over its failure to attend to an expectant mother who later died.

Maureen Anyango was taken to the facility on September 5 last year, but she died a day after she delivered twins through an operation.

Investigations by the Senate Standing Committee on Health formed to probe the matter have concluded there was an unjustifiable delay, of about eight hours before Anyango was transferred to theatre.

The committee said medics reportedly took a long time to assist her. Anyango later died as a result of excessive bleeding, according to a report by the committee chaired by Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago, who is deputised by Senator Mariam Sheikh Omar on Mandera.

The team included senators Erick Mogeni, Ledama Olekina, Abdul Mohammed, Hamida Kibwana, Joseph Ngugi, Raphael Chimera and Esther Okenyuri.

The deceased's husband, Robert Omondi, who appeared before the committee on November 1, last year, painted a picture of gross laxity in the facility.

Omondi told the committee that Anyango was neglected by doctors at the hospital after she gave birth to twins through a caesarian section.

The report states that the hospital, through the obstetrician, decided to defer the deceased’s emergency operation since there was a need to stabilise her blood pressure.

However, the committee stated that there was inadequate documentation to support the claims by the hospital and a lack of evidence that any standard tests for pre-eclampsia had been conducted.

When the situation got out of hand, Anyango was transferred to Kiambu Level 5 Hospital. The senators noted that the ambulance took almost two hours to arrive there.

Robert Sakar, the husband of Maureen Anyango, before the Senate Committee on Health. Anyango died while delivering twins at the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

“By the time Anyango was received at Kiambu hospital, she was unconscious and her condition was critical,” the report reads.

It was also noted that Mama Lucy Hospital had attempted to secure an ICU bed at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and Kenyatta University Hospital. However, this proved futile owing to the lack of a bed in KNH, and the requirement by KU Hospital for a deposit of Sh200, 000.

The committee noted that prioritising monetary security before the admission of a patient and the provision of emergency care was against the law.

For these reasons, the committee, among its recommendations, stated that Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital be investigated by relevant health regulatory bodies and that the facility be sanctioned for failure to provide emergency care treatment.

The senators recommended that the facility’s Obstetrician/Gynaecologist be investigated by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) for submitting false evidence before the committee.

The report will now be dispatched to the Ministry of Health, the county government, the Council of Governors, the Kenya Bureau of Standards and the National Police Service for purposes of implementing the recommendations within three months’ time.

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