KENYA:Committee absolves doctors of blame in KNH surgery mix-up

March 2017 Dailynation;

A committee constituted by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists’ Board has absolved two doctors from wrongdoing in the Kenyatta National Hospital surgery mix-up.


The committee said that the competence of Dr Hanson Ng’ang’a Kamau, who undertook the surgery assisted by Dr Mose Moraa, could not be questioned.

It added that the two surgeons followed the proper procedure.

“However, it is not in dispute that the vprocedure was undertaken on the wrong patient,” said the committee.

The joint committee that included members of the Nursing Council of Kenya, Clinical Officers Council, among other authorities, had launched an inquiry into the confusion that led to surgery on the wrong patient on February 19.

The team released its findings on Friday in Nairobi.

The committee interviewed 11 witnesses between Thursday and early Friday.


The committee however indicated that Ms Mary Wahome, the nurse involved in the mix-up, should be further probed to determine if she is still fit to serve in the environment.

“The committee further finds the capability of nurse Mary Wahome to work in specific units of the hospitals needs to be considered by her regulator the Nursing Council of Kenya as she testified that she had been unwell for several months after she had been involved in an accident and had not fully recovered,” said Dr. Jackson Kioko, Director of Medical Services, while reading the report.

Ms Wahome complained of heavy workload at the hospital during the inquiry, saying that on the night of February 19 there were 61 patients and only three nurses attending to them.

“The regulator should find if the nurse is fit to practise under such an environment,” the committee recommended.


The committee has no powers in law to sanction medical practitioners regulated by other bodies. It said regulatory bodies should conduct a proper inquiry to enable them make necessary recommendations.

The committee further found out the hospital had standard operation procedures for the various processes but they had not been implemented.

“Dr Peter Masinde, the acting director of clinical services at KNH, admitted that the standard operation procedures were just there on paper but had never been used as would have been expected.

“Also, he admitted that the Medical Advisory Committee existed only on paper as it was dormant, which contradicted the evidence of Dr Ben Githae and Ms Lily Koros,” said the report.


The committee also found that there were glaring gaps in the admission processes at the hospital.

“Neurosurgeon patients were spread in different wards within the hospital, which is a potential risk to proper management and follow up of patients.

“Dr Mwangi Gichuru, a consultant at the KNH, confirmed that they were unable to review all their neurosurgery patients on a daily basis and it was clear that the manner in which the patients were being admitted was a contributing factor,” indicated the report.

It added that the hospital lacked proper documentation of patients’ records.




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