Lamu, KENYA: A woman in Mkunguni village of Mokowe area in Lamu county has died due to excessive bleeding following a failed ‘divine delivery’ at her home.
The husband of the late Kendi Kiecha,29, and her relatives refused to take her for a hospital delivery owing to their religious beliefs that forbid them from ever seeking medical attention of any sort in a hospital.
She succumbed to complications on her way to hospital after she was forcefully whisked away by police on Sunday evening.
Neighbors said the woman had gone into labor for three consecutive since Friday evening but the family insisted that we’re confident that the Holy Spirit would intervene to n deliver her of the baby.
The deceased belonged to a local church only identified as ‘Kanisa la Mungu’ (Church of God) whose doctrines dictate that members are not to seek hospital attention in any stage of their lives while believing that God would always intervene.
The church also forbids its members from taking prescription drugs when sick but rather awaits god’s healing.
The family called in church members all the way from Kilifi for spiritual intervention.
“All these days she was in labor, the church members were in her house, singing, chanting and dancing, calling upon God and the holy spirit to intervene and deliver the woman who was obviously in immense pain. All this while, the head of the baby was sticking through her legs. There seemed to be a complication as there was no further development expected of a woman giving birth.She should have gone to the hospital,”said Lilian Malika, a child protection and gender-based violence officer based in the area.
However, when the efforts of the church members for the ‘religious delivery’ failed and the woman appeared to be failing, one of the women is said to have pulled the baby from the deceased resulting in the immediate death of the infant and the excessive bleeding of the mother.
While confirming the incident,Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said the woman died from excessive bleeding caused by neglect based on ‘funny’ religious beliefs.
“We know she belonged to a church which doesn’t believe in medical treatment but rather prayers.We dispatched our officers upon receiving the reports from neighbors. The officers said the door was locked from inside and the church members were singing and dancing around her.They took her forcefully and were headed to hospital when she succumbed to her injuries while waiting to cross to Lamu hospital at the Mokowe jetty” said Kanyiri.
He said investigations are on and those found culpable would be arrested and charged.