Mombasa family blames medics strike for daughter’s death

Mr. Shiundu (in a black suit with red shirt) during child's burial. Wife seated next to coffin. PHOTO:DIANA WANYONYI

Mombasa,KENYA: A dark cloud of sadness engulfed the family of Mr. Zedekia Shiundu in Mwembeni, Bamburi area in Mombasa County following the demise of their 10-day-old daughter late last week after they could not find a space in private hospitals to admit her in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Speaking to Baraka F.M hours before the burial of his daughter at Makaburini public cemetery in Mombasa, Mr. Shiundu said that his daughter fell ill last Thursday at home and that is when they rushed her to the hospital.

However, he says, the baby was not attended to at the local clinic in Bombolulu since it did not have equipments to treat the infant.

“The nurse was not able to do treat the baby nor do medical tests because they did not have equipment. We decided to seek more medical attention at Seifee Medical Hospital based in Bondeni where we were advised that the baby should be immediately admitted in then ICU”. He said.

Mr. Shiundu elaborates that, they again rushed to MEWA hospital for ICU services but the hospital did not have any forcing him again to rush to the Coast General Hospital.

However, he says, after arriving at CPGH which has an ICU unit, he was informed that there was no doctor to operate.

The heartbroken father said it was while making enquiries at another hospital- Pandya hospital -when he received the sad news of the death of his daughter who was by then still under watch at Seifee medical hospital.

“We were making more enquiries at Pandya hospital when we received a call from a family member who was watching the baby at Seifee medical hospital that the baby had died”. Said Mr. Shiundu.

As the baby is laid to rest today (Monday), family members blames their loss on the ongoing doctors’s strike that has now lasted for 82 days.

Medics have been on strike since December 5th to force the government to implement the 2013 Collective Bargain Agreement-CBA, as millions of Kenyans continue to bear the brunt of the industrial action.

The loss of Mr. Shiundu represents unknown number of patients who have died for lack of medical services and for some who are not able to access health services at the private hospitals