Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sect members’ child finally gets the jab

Joseph Kuria | NATION One-year-old Mercy Wamaitha is vaccinated against polio and measles at Nyahururu District Hospital on March 22, 2012 after a Nyahururu court made the order that Wamaitha and her four siblings be taken to hospital for immunisation.

Joseph Kuria | NATION One-year-old Mercy Wamaitha is vaccinated against polio and measles at Nyahururu District Hospital on March 22, 2012 after a Nyahururu court made the order that Wamaitha and her four siblings be taken to hospital for immunisation. 

By JAMES KARIUKI kamaukariuki@gmail.com

A one-year-old girl who had been denied immunisation because her mother’s faith prohibits use of medicine was finally given the jab in Nyahururu on Thursday.

This was done under the watch of prison warders and a children’s officer.

Mrs Margaret Nduta Njoroge, whose husband Joseph Njoroge is serving a two-year jail term for refusing to take one of their daughters to hospital after she was defiled, was, however, not cooperative.

Mrs Njoroge, who is living with her child in remand prison, on Thursday cried uncontrollably at Nyahururu District Hospital as she prayed for spiritual intervention.

She undressed her daughter, Mercy Wamaitha, and placed her on the floor, saying she would not take part in the exercise.

While outside the hospital earlier, the mother had protested, telling the warders: “I would rather burn in hell than participate in this act.”

The prison warders had to force her inside the hospital, where they assisted the nurses immunise the child against measles, polio, diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus. The child tested positive for pneumonia.

At the same time, the Nation on Thursday learnt that the couple, which defied court orders to take their children to hospital last week, had lost three of their children due to lack of medical care.

Mrs Njoroge disclosed to a group of health workers that the children had died before turning one year, much to their shock.

And she has delivered all her children at home since she and her husband do not believe in conventional medicine.

The mother of eight surviving children is in remand, waiting to be sentenced by a Nyahururu court after pleading guilty to a child neglect charge.

The Children’s Department had filed an application before the court to have the woman remanded in custody as they prepared a social inquiry report.

Mrs Njorogo was escorted to the hospital by prison warders and children’s officer Albert Wanjohi.

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