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Senators pledge to act on shocking tales of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital

 Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The Senate Health Committee will make recommendations on whether Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital will be allowed to continue operating or not, following a public outcry.

There have been numerous complaints from patients seeking services from the hospital, a brainchild of former first lady the late Lucy Kibaki.

Committee chairman Jackson Mandago led members in listening to complaints made by relatives of a mother who died after delivering twins and a 41-year-old IT expert who passed away after an accident.

The kin told the committee of Maureen Anyango of how she died after her delivery and how Edward Otieno who was rushed to the hospital after an accident did not get the necessary medical attention to save his life.

Committee vice chairperson Senator Mariam Omar, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, Murang' a Senator Joseph Nyutu, Nominated Senator Raphael Chimera and Nominated Senator Hamida Kibwana said the hospital management should be put to task.

"We want public servants to take individual responsibility to end negligence and avoid similar cases in future within public facilities. We would like to see public hospitals take in patients and do what they are supposed to do before asking for payment," said Mandago.

Sifuna said they were deeply embarrassed over horror stories from some medical facilities and that some health institutions have turned into death chambers. He said it was wrong for staff to be abusive and disrespectful to patients and their families.

He called for review of qualifications of all staff at Mama Lucy Hospital to ascertain if they are qualified, since most of them seemed not to adhere to the medical calling of serving humanity.

Nyutu noted serious negligence in the two cases which if they were handled properly, the mother and the IT expert's lives would have been saved.

Wambua said dignity should be infused in human life and that medics have an opportunity to make things right at Mama Lucy Hospital and send the right message to other facilities.

Chimera said even if it means closing the facility and making things right, the committee should recommend that since the lives of Kenyans cannot be lost at the altar of staff not willing to work.

"A clip on KTN News showed women in the maternity wing walking naked as men did renovations, which was very disturbing. That shows the facility does not care about the plight of mothers," said Kibwana.

Robert Omondi, husband to Maureen told the committee that his wife got labour pains after which he called his sister-in-law and rushed her to Kayole dispensary where her blood pressure was checked and found very high.

He was referred to Mama Lucy hospital where Maureen was admitted and the following she delivered. When he rushed to the hospital, he found his wife admitted in the ward with the twins beside her after which she requested that he helps her to breastfeed them. He however noted her bed was full of blood.

 A section of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital. [File, Standard]

"The twins were our firstborns and I did not know much about taking care of them in the current state with their mother unwell. I called my sister-in-law to assist us but some staff denied her entry," said Omondi.

He was later told that his wife was on oxygen and was to be referred to Kenyatta University Hospital or Machakos County Hospital with Sh200,000 needed upfront.

Omondi was then told that the management had decided to take her to Kiambu County Hospital. "We arrived at Kiambu County Hospital at 1am with nurses from Mama Lucy Hospital handing over the patient. I was asked to check on the progress in the morning, only to be told later that they tried their best but my wife had died," said Omondi.

His sister-in-law, Rose told the committee that her sister died due to negligence since she spoke to her after childbirth and they did not expect her to die in the manner she did.

"I have been taking care of the twins left behind my younger sister and I can tell this committee that it has never been easy since I do not sleep at night since they require attention around the clock and I am disturbed that their mother died due to medical negligence," said Rose.

Bonventure Otieno, an advocate for the family wondered for how long negligence will be transferred from one health facility to another and that Mama Lucy Hospital has never responded or shown any concern following Maureen's death.

Otieno wondered why his client was asked to perform some medical procedures like removing some pipes and inserting some cotton wool in the bleeding patient yet this was the responsibility of medical personnel.

Prof Emily Rogena told the committee that systems need to be put in place to ensure no deaths that can be avoided should happen in medical facilities.

The consultant pathologist called for serious leadership at Mama Lucy Hospital to live up to the name of former First Mama Lucy Kibaki.

"I was shocked when I arrived at Mama Lucy Hospital in the company of my husband who is also a doctor to find my nephew lying on a cold floor unattended because his next of kin had not arrived," said Prof Rogena.

She said many Kenyans were suffering and what they see on social media platforms was just the tip of the iceberg.

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