Caroline Mukiri spoke to the defender at Kenyatta national hospital (KNH)
I was admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital Newborn Unit on September 5, 2014 with conjoined twins. I am 27 years old. I come from North Imenti Constituency in Meru County. The twins, Blessing and Favour, are now one year old. One look at them tells you that they are suffering a lot.
At first, I was told that my girls cannot be separated because they share the spinal cord. Time has passed since. It’s been long and nothing has been done despite many promises to operate on my innocent daughters.
The hospital room in Ward 4 has become my home. I am still waiting.
I asked the hospital to allow me to go home and return when they are ready, but they turned down my request. Unofficially, they insist that if I must go home then I must leave the two girls at the hospital.
I personally took my letter to the chief executive officer’s office asking that I be allowed to go home. I am yet to receive official feedback. I now doubt that my letter was indeed passed on to the chief executive. All they do is put expandables on my kids. In January, we went for an MRI at Nairobi Hospital and one doctor said the operation can actually happen because my twins do not share the spinal cord as had earlier been feared, but just ligaments. It has been difficult for us. I have had to buy food as my children do not like the food served at the hospital.
And whenever I ask for good food, the nutritionist tells me to go to the private wing - that’s where food is good and tasty.
No one from my family comes to see me. My boyfriend who impregnated me left me after he heard that I have given birth to kids with this problem.
I cannot sleep well at night. I am traumatised most of the time after some unidentified man tried to force himself into my room. I do not know what his intentions were. The media have been barred from coming here to interview me so that may story is not highlighted.
Please, I am pleading for your help. I am in darkness and I am worried they may not operate on my girls.
I want to know if they intend to carry out the operation, and if yes, when? Is there something I am not being told. Please help.
Steps taken by the defender
The Nairobian Defender contacted KNH’s Public Affairs Department seeking to find out why it was taking too long to carry out the operation.
And after days of trying to get to the bottom of the matter, we were asked to send an official email detailing our request - which we did.
The department acknowledged receiving our email on March 1, but a month down the line, the hospital has remained mum on the case
Below is our mail to KNH:
The Nairobian Defender, a complaints resolution column published in The Nairobian newspaper received a complaint from Ms Caroline Mukiri, the mother of twins who are patients at Kenyatta National Hospital. We followed up her case and have visited her to ascertain if indeed she is nursing twins at the facility.
Caroline is concerned that the hospital has been postponing her twins’ operation. She says that since admission on September 5, 2014, the hospital has been promising that her twins will be operated on, but that has not happened to date. Months of promises, she says, have turned into one year now and five months.
This email therefore seeks to know the hospital’s position on this matter.
We were later asked to speak to the doctor in charge as we sought answers for Caroline.
Dr Joel Lessan said he has the information on the twins’ operation status, but cannot reveal it to the media since the CEO is the only one authorised to do so.
“The CEO will soon call a press conference, in two or three weeks’ time, to update the media on the progress of the twins. So, just be patient until you (media) are called,” said Dr Lessan.
The Defender waited for two weeks, but the press conference is yet to be called. The Nairobian Defender has decided to make an official appeal to the hospital to help end the suffering of these twins and her mother.
Is it that she is too poor? Is the bill too high? Is the hospital unable to do the operation? What does it take to explain to this poor lady what really is going on?
The Nairobian Defender will keep a close eye on this case and follow it through until the operation is done. That is if KNH is really serious about this matter.