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Family claims baby swapped with dead one in hospital

Tuesday January 21 2020

Nyamira child swap claims

Distraught relatives of a woman whose child is said to have died soon after delivery at the Nyamira Teaching and Referral Hospital on January 19, 2020. They claimed that their child did not die and was instead swapped with a dead one. PHOTO | SHARON ACHIENG' | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SHARON ACHIENG
By SHARON ACHIENG
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A family in Kiabiraa village, Nyamira County, is alleging that their new-born baby was exchanged with a dead one at the Nyamira Teaching and Referral Hospital.

A relative who took the distraught mother to the hospital on Sunday for delivery said she was taken to the theatre for a caesarean section immediately they arrived.

"After delivery, I saw the baby being taken to the nursery," said Ms Alice Mong'are, the mother-in-law of the woman.

TAKEN TO NURSERY

Mrs Mong'are claimed she followed the nurses to the nursery, urging them to let her see her grandchild but they declined.

"The nurse in charge closed the door to the nursery and told me I could not see the baby yet," she said.

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She said she went back to the maternity ward where her daughter-in-law was resting to inquire about the gender of the baby.

"She told me she had seen it was a girl and couldn't wait to hold her in her arms once she was out of the nursery," Ms Mong'are narrated.

On Monday morning when she returned to the hospital, Mrs Mong'are said her son went straight to the nursery to check on the baby as she went to the ward to check on the mother.

To her surprise, she heard cries a few moments later and went to confirm what had occurred.

"I found my son crying helplessly," she said.

CONFRONTED NURSES

"I decided to confront the nurses who were standing nearby and that's when they told me my grandchild had passed on," she said.

She said that when they were shown the body, the baby looked older than a one-day-old child.

"Even the navel seemed to have completely healed and that's not supposed to be the case for a one-day-old baby," she said.

Mr Edwin Mong'are, the father of the baby, said he was pained by the fact that they were being taken in circles when they sought to see their baby immediately she was born.

"I am still in shock and I don't understand why the hospital was not straightforward about all this from the beginning," Mr Mong'are said.

He accused the nurses of completely denying him access to his child at birth.

PLEA FOR HELP

"I am kindly urging the government to intervene and help us seek justice for our baby for I strongly believe she didn't die but was exchanged with a dead one," he said.

Speaking on the matter, Nyamira County Chief Officer for Health Jack Magara said the hospital has not had cases of children getting lost.

"But from the information that I have gathered on the case, it may not be an exchange as such. I am told the mother actually underwent a caesarean section but the child wasn't healthy when it was delivered," said Dr Magara.

He said babies born with such uncertainties are usually taken to the new-born unit for further check-ups.

"According to the doctor, the baby's health was not good so she had to be admitted to the nursery section for proper care," Dr Magara said.