Sydney Mambala's death: Busia hospital accused of negligence

Wednesday March 18 2020

Busia County Referral Hospital. Some Busia leaders have accused the facility of negligence over the handling of Sydney Mambala, the six-year-old boy who died in the hospital after he was run over by a car in DP William Ruto’s convoy on June 7, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


A section of Busia leaders has accused Busia County Referral Hospital of negligence over the handling of a six-year-old boy who died in the facility after he was run over by a car in Deputy President William Ruto’s convoy last Friday.

Master Sydney Mambala, a Class One pupil at Fanape Junior Academy in Budalang’i Constituency died of respiratory failure and excessive bleeding just two hours after he was transferred to the facility from Port Victoria Sub County Hospital.


While condoling with the family on Sunday, Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua expressed her disappointment over the hospital’s failure to immediately attend to the patient who was in dire need of Intensive Care Unit services.  

“This was an emergency case that needed a quick response from the hospital considering the boy was transferred all the way from Port Victoria to Busia by an ambulance. According to the post mortem report, the child could have survived had he been attended to promptly,” said Ms Mutua.

She challenged Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’s administration to quip health facilities in the region to avert more deaths.

“It is important as leaders to ensure that hospitals are well equipped. Had the medics been fast enough, Sydney’s life could have been saved,” she said.


Ms Mutua’s sentiments were echoed by the boy’s parents who said their son was not attended to for about three hours after arriving at Busia County Referral Hospital.

“We asked the nurse on duty to attend to him since he was bleeding from the nose and mouth but we were told to just wipe the blood. He was still breathing but faintly,” Mr Felix Mambala said.

The hospital’s Deputy medical superintendent Namudala Emukule, however, dismissed the claims saying they received the patient, who was unconscious, at around 8pm on Friday.


Dr Hillary Kiplagat who conducted the autopsy on the boy’s body revealed that lack of specialised services at the facility may have stifled efforts to save the patient’s life.

 “At the moment, we don’t have a cardiothoracic surgeon who is only available at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.”

DP Ruto promised his support to the family.

 “I have spoken with Mzee and assured the family of support during this difficult time. May God rest young Sydney in eternal peace,” he wrote on his official twitter account on Friday.