KENYA: I am dying but you will live to regret; woman on her death bed tells doctors

February 2014  Standard; “I am dying but you will live to regret,” these were the last painful words of an expectant woman who died in a mysterious circumstance in a hospital in Taita-Taveta County.

The tearful words of the late Justinah Kililo were directed to health authorities at a local public hospital where she was last admitted in labourAccording to her parents, the 24-year-old developed labour pains and was rushed to the hospital for medical assistance but later died under mysterious circumstances.

Her death is still shrouded in mystery as relatives wait for explanation from the hospital authorities.The deceased’s mother Agnes Kililo who accompanied her to the hospital said she died while talking and condemning health authorities for failing to save her life while in hospital.

“The medical staff took time to attend to her leading to her death and that of her undelivered baby,” she tearfully narrated to The Standard.

While linking her death to professional negligence, Ms Kililo who is a primary school teacher said a doctor booked her for caesarean section but the medic did not show up.

“When we took her to the hospital the deceased was in labour pains. The doctor who was at the time in Mombasa had booked the patient for operation. Unfortunately the medic did not keep to his promise and the woman later died,” said the mother of six.

The deceased was a single mother and was expecting her first child when the tragedy befell.

Speaking to The Standard at her home in Werugha location in Taita district, the grief-stricken woman said had the doctor arrived on time to carry out the operation as he had earlier promised the woman’s life would have been saved.

“We want thorough investigations to be conducted so that justice can be done. We were wondering why the doctor told his staff to book the patient in the facility in anticipation of the caesarean but turned up late after the patient had died,” said Ms Kilolo as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“I know the pain I am going through after my daughter died and let her death be the last case of professional negligence in the region. The government should not allow such an incident to happen again to expectant women,” she said.

The County Governor John Mruttu condemned the incident and said investigations into the death had been launched.

Last year, an expectant woman died at the hospital in mysterious circumstances.

The Hospital’s Superintendent (name withheld) could not be reached for comment but a statement from the County Director of Health Services John Logedi on Sunday said the deceased came in to the hospital late.

According to a burial permit issued by the hospital to the family, they cited post- partum haemorrhage as the cause of death.The deceased family however disputed the statement claiming they took the deceased to the hospital on time.

 “The hospital authorities should stop lying to Kenyans about the death. They should take full responsibility for failing to act fast. We came early and there was no doctor to conduct operation. There was no vehicle to transfer the deceased to Voi for caesarean section,” said Ms Kililo.

A catholic priest Fr Joseph Mwashighadi while condemning the incident said the constitution requires that nobody should be denied emergency treatment.“People are wondering what actually went wrong. It is a case that has baffled residents and should not be taken lightly,” he noted.

Fr Mwashighadi asked the government to thorough investigate the matter and take necessary action to those found to have gone against the constitution.The health authorities have refused to comment on whether the patient died of professional negligence or natural death.


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