18 children paralysed after questionable injections from nurse

A nurse at Akichelesit Dispensary in Teso North sub-county and two other hospital workers have been suspended following an incident where 18 children became paralysed after getting injections at the facility.

Health Executive Morris Simiyu stated that medical malpractices may have been committed since the drugs were confirmed not to have expired.

"The nurse who had been deployed to the injection room has been suspended from duty until investigation is complete. We are narrowing down on two possibilities; on whether the nurse injected at the wrong side, or irritation to the nerve could have resulted from the drugs administered," he said.

He said samples of the drugs have been taken to Kenya Medical Supplies Agency and Government laboratories for further analyses. They include Quinine, Diclofenac and Plasim.

Dr Simuyu also confirmed that the drugs, which were used for injection have been withdrawn until results of the analysis is known.

He explained that the children suffered from a condition called sciatica, which is an injury on sciatic nerve. This has affected their movement and sensations on the lower limbs.

"All the patients confirmed they were injected on the side where the paralysis had eventually resulted. The children were aged between four and 11 years," he adds.

The duration over which the injections were administered and caused the effects are between March this year to date. "They were injected to different children at different times," said doctor.

Conditions treatable

He further observed that 13 of the children had paralysis of the right lower limb, while five children had paralysis of the left lower limb. Two of the children had foot drop.

Simiyu revealed that they have prepared ankle foot Orthotist to support the two children with foot drop, so that they cannot drag their feet while walking.

The county government has also taken up the responsibility of treating all the affected children until they get well.

Medically, the children may have to go through physiotherapy treatment, which is preferred when treating paralysis.

"The county government has engaged several physiotherapists and sent them to the facility with necessary equipment to attend to the patients until they are able to walk," said Simiyu, adding that most conditions are treatable.