Shalom Hospital in Machakos shut down after baby's death

Monday May 06 2019

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua (right), Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) member Prof Frederick Were and KMPDB Chief Executive Daniel Yumbya address the media outside Shalom Community Hospital in Machakos on May 6, 2019. The hospital has been closed. PHOTO | STEPHEN MUTHINI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Shalom Hospital in Machakos has been closed and patients given 48 hours to move to other health facilities.

This follows the death of a seven-month-old baby Ethan Muendo on Sunday.  

The baby, who had been taken to the hospital with a minor burn on the left hand, is said to have been injected with a dose of morphine drug.


Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua now wants the hospital’s director, administrator, clinical officer and the pharmacist in charge arrested.

Earlier, Governor Mutua met Shalom Hospital management and a team of Ministry of Health officials led by Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board Chief Executive Officer Daniel Yumbya and Nursing Council of Kenya Registrar Edna Talam.


The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board has also withdrawn the hospital’s operation license. 

"I am ordering the closure of this hospital. We are giving the hospital 48 hours to transfer patients to Kathiani Level 4 Hospital or any other hospitals,” said Dr Mutua. 


Dr Mutua urged residents to seek treatment in public hospitals instead of poorly-managed private health facilities. 

The governor announced that the findings of an ongoing investigation on the operations of Shalom Hospital, Athi-River branch, will be released on Friday.

KMPDB member Prof Were told journalists that the 2ml morphine drug should have been administered orally.   

He said that such injections should not be administered by community health workers as was the case in Shalom Hospital.

“Morphine, being a heavy dose, interfered with the breathing of the baby. Besides, it was administered by an unqualified person,” said Prof Were.

Morphine is a medication of the opiate family which acts directly on the central nervous system to decrease pain.


It can be taken for both acute and chronic pain. The baby had been taken to the hospital for treatment after his left hand was scalded by hot water.

According to the baby’s mother Ms Juliana Mutheu, the infant developed breathing problems and died barely two hours after the injection.