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Naivasha hospital in a spot as baby dies under unclear circumstances

 Empty beds at Naivasha Sub-County Hospital. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

Naivasha Sub-County Hospital, for the umpteenth time, is on the news for the wrong reasons after an eight-month-old baby died in unclear circumstances, sparking protests from residents.

Services at the hospital were paralysed for more than three hours as irate relatives and the public clashed with the hospital management over the death of the baby girl.

Anti-riot police had to be called in to control the situation, leading to more chaos that saw several journalists assaulted and injured as screams and wails filled the busy facility.

Trouble started after the baby who was wheeled in with breathing complications passed on as the medics on duty changed shifts, with relatives accusing the hospital of alleged negligence.

The incident comes barely a month after a 40-year-old man died in the same facility, leading to a confrontation between the family and the hospital staff.

Last year, the County Assembly Committee on Health was informed that more than ten newborn babies died in one month after incubators in the maternity wing malfunctioned.

In the latest incident, the mother brought the baby with breathing complications before passing on a couple of hours later.

According to Sam Maina, an uncle to the deceased, she was first put on oxygen, and her condition stabilized and the mother even breastfed her.

He said trouble started as the medics changed shifts and the oxygen was allegedly disconnected, leading the baby to develop breathing complications again.

“We tried to engage the medics to attend to the baby, but they told us that their shift was over, and in the process, the baby passed on,” he said.

The emotional mother, Beth Njoroge, accused the medics for the loss of her baby, saying that they ignored her pleas when she developed breathing complications.

“I told them several times that the baby had developed breathing problems again, but they ignored me, leading to her death,” she said before breaking down.

Speaking on the phone, the Superintendent in charge, Dr Bernard Warui, called for patience, saying they have launched investigations into the incident.

“We don’t know the cause of death, but we have launched investigations to establish what transpired from the moment the minor was brought in,” he said.

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