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Family demands answers after child died while being treated in Siaya hospital

 Got-Agulu Sub-County Hospital in Bondo, Siaya County. [Isaiah Gwengi, Standard]

When Juliana Galu walked into Got Agulu sub-county hospital on December 20, 2022, her family did not suspect that she would not come out alive.

The six-year-old was referred to Got-Agulu sub-county hospital after she reportedly developed symptoms of headache.

According to records at the hospital, the girl reported to the facility at 10:34 am and was pronounced dead at 11:45 am.

The devastated family now claims that their daughter died following a wrong drug injection.

With the burial scheduled for January 6, the family is demanding that the Got-Agulu sub-county hospital be investigated for suspected medical negligence.

Even though the County Executive for Health Dr Martin K'Onyango has dismissed claims that there was negligence on the part of the hospital, postmortem results indicate that the girl died as a result of a suspected drug injection.

K’Onyango, who defended the hospital, told The Standard that the facility instituted all the necessary treatment as per the clinical picture.

“The child was first taken to Usenge dispensary with fever, dehydration and diarrhoea before she was referred to a more advanced facility,” he said, adding that she was weak and was not able to walk.

He added that after specimens were taken for testing, the patient started convulsing and vomiting during treatment.

A handwritten medical report seen by The Standard indicates that the child had severe dehydration and herbal intoxication.

The family has however denied the claims of herbal intoxication, saying their daughter never used any herbal medicine.

Yesterday, the family through their spokesperson, Judith Owenga, said there were contradicting reports on what caused the girl’s death.

She claimed that the medic responsible allegedly vanished after efforts to resuscitate the patient failed, leaving the family devastated.

The matter was reported at Bondo DCI under OB 71/20/12/2023.

The autopsy report conducted on December 21, 2023, revealed that the deceased died of sudden cardiac arrest, secondary to suspected drug injection.

Dr Dixon Muchana, a pathologist, accompanied by officers from DCI, county government and family, handed over the autopsy report to the family.

Samples were taken to the government chemist for further investigations to establish the exact cause of the death.

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