Meru Level Five Hospital is on the spot after issuing a birth notification for a baby, whom it later said had died. The mother, 22-year-old Judith Makena, is said to have been referred to the hospital from Miathene Sub-county Hospital after suffering convulsions due to high blood pressure.
Her father, Mr Julius Mutabari, said she delivered on May 10 after he signed the consent forms for her to undergo a caesarean section, but the hospital management never bothered to call him to see the newborn – or the body.
On May 17, the hospital issued a birth notification indicating that Ms Makena had delivered a boy, but on June 5, it issued a discharge letter indicating that the baby had died.
The discharge summary indicates that the mother was referred to the hospital due to eclampsia, adding that a 3 kg male foetus was extracted dead during the c-section.
“My wife and I stayed in Meru town for one week demanding to be shown the baby but nobody paid us any attention. I am the one who was taking samples to Karen Hospital for analysis before my daughter was taken to theatre and after she delivered. At no time was I told that the baby had died,” Mr Mutabari told the Nation.
He said he said he went to see the deputy matron several times, and was promised help, to no avail. He claimed that his daughter was injected with drugs that made her mentally unstable on May 17.
Ms Makena's sister, Ms Domisius Kagendo, said they were given the birth notification on May 17, and that her sister was to be discharged on May 18.
“When we went back on May 18, we found Makena in a bad state. She was confused. She kept saying that the doctors wanted to kill her. Other patients told us that she had been taken to a separate room the previous night before she was brought back talking incoherently,” Ms Kagendo said.
She added, “The nurses demanded that we return the birth notification but I told them I hadn’t seen it. On June 5, security officers prevented us from from leaving the hospital until we gave back the birth notification but we stood our ground.”
And Ms Makena's cousin, Ms Jerusha Nchulubi, said Ms Makena was recovering well until May 17, when she seemed to have lost her mind.
But a senior official at the hospital official who requested anonymity refuted the family's claims.
“The baby was born dead and we showed the body to the mother. The issuance of a birth notification slip was an error,” she said, adding that efforts by the hospital to convince Ms Makena's parents that the baby had died were unsuccessful.
She said unclaimed bodies are disposed of after 10 days through a court order.
Meanwhile, a letter from the Meru Police Station OCS to the hospital dated May 18, 2018, demands that the management show the family the baby or the body.
Efforts to get a comment from the hospital were fruitless since the CEO, Dr James Kirimi, was said to be in theatre. Health Executive Eunice Kobia held a long meeting with the hospital's officials but did not address the media thereafter.
Imenti North Deputy OCPD David Kavuu said the case had been referred to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.