Doctors and nurses at Longisa Referral Hospital in Bomet County have been put on the spot for reportedly abandoning nine expectant women, leading to stillbirths.
Relatives said the women were in various stages of labour but could not be assisted because the health workers left the hospital on Friday night and returned the following morning.
According to reports, the doctors upon arriving at the hospital, conducted check-ups on the women and informed four of them that they lost their unborn babies hours earlier.
Even after the doctors broke the news to the women, the foetuses were not removed from three of the women for more than eight hours.
The fourth case required dilation and evacuation of the foetus, a procedure that was conducted more than 12 hours later, witnesses said.
Mr Edwin Bii, a local, said the women wailed and called for help the whole night to no avail.
“We have demanded answers from the doctors and nurses but none is forthcoming. Some are arrogant and abusive. We have had to beg them for assistance,” Mr Bii, a brother of one of the women, said.
He said his sister was taken to Tegat Hospital in Bomet East Sub-County on Thursday when she developed labour pains.
She remained at the hospital overnight before being referred to Longisa in the morning.
“Despite being told that her case was of foetal distress, an ambulance was not called to take her to Longisa. We looked for private means but we were not accompanied by a nurse,” Mr Bii added.
He said the doctors told her at 11am that the unborn child was responsive but 18 hours later, she was informed it was dead.
Bomet County government has six ambulances.
Four were leased from the Red Cross Society at an annual cost of Sh42 million, while two were bought for Sh23 million recently.
Longisa Referral Hospital medical superintendent Isaac Birech refuted reports of doctors and nurses abandoning patients at the Mother and Child Health ward overnight.
He said everything that happened on the said night was recorded.
“It is an unfortunate coincidence that four cases brought directly from home to the hospital were of unresponsive foetuses,” Dr Birech said.
“One of the women was not in her bed when doctors were doing their rounds at 1.40am. She resurfaced at 6am.”
Bomet Health executive Joseph Sitonik said a report on the incident is being compiled.
“I have directed the medical services chief officer Zeddy Chepkorir to follow up the matter and draft a report, which will be made public,” Dr Sitonik said.