Infant bodies found in boxes can be accounted for

Pumwani Maternity Hospital. The hospital has received donations worth more than sh. 2 million to help in the fight against COVID-19./COURTESY

Nairobi, KENYA: The infant bodies found in boxes on Monday at Pumwani hospital can be accounted for.

Speaking at a press briefing in Pumwani hospital, Chief Officer Health, Mahat Jimale, said that the infants had died from the 11th – 17th September.

Out of 244 births in the same period, there were 11 deaths.

“We can account for each and every child with the tagging and notification of death,” said Mahat.

Out of the 11 deaths, there were four fresh still births and out of the four, the reason for the death of two of them no heart rate on arrival and the other advanced labour breached delivery obstruction.

“Two were macerated still births weighing 2.2kgs and 3.5kgs respectively, main reason for the macerated still births are to do with protracted labour and antepartum haemorrhage. The other four were basically antenatal deaths,” Jimale explained.

Another child was brought in dead, for Pumwani hospital to safely dispose of the body.

Jimale said the establishment of a neonatal and maternal ICU is critical because the hospital is getting extremely complicated cases.

“The kind of mothers we get come with a lot of complications. We have mothers who come with Sepsis, Eclampsia or Preclamsia, obstructed labour, ruptured uterus,” he added.

Also at the briefing was Nairobi County health CEC, Veska Kangogo, who said the hospital does not have a morgue and bodies are usually taken to Nairobi Mortuary.

“We have a designated room and that is where the bodies were found. We have to make do with the resources that we have to make sure that we package the bodies in a way that they can be transported for suitable storage and disposal at the Nairobi mortuary,” said the county health CEC.

Bodies are usually picked from the hospital three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The hospital denied allegations that the infants died due to lack of emergency services.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) have faulted Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko for politicizing the Pumwani Maternity issue.

KMPDU chair Samuel Oroko wants the two doctors who were suspended to be reinstated saying that if there are problems with the medics, the board will address it.

“Pumwani has only one operating theatre. How can more than 50 mothers be served when an operation takes one hour. There is no ambulance to refer mothers anywhere,” said Oroko.

However, there is an inquiry going on, led by the directorate of criminal investigations.