An 11-year-old boy has been detained at the Siaya County Referral Hospital over a Sh50,000 bill.
The minor, who sustained serious injuries after allegedly being assaulted by his neighbour, underwent a surgery at the hospital.
Alego Usonga Sub County Children’s Officer Beatrice Auma Oguda on Tuesday wrote a letter to Siaya First Lady Rosella Rasanga asking her to facilitate the waiver on the hospital bill.
The letter states that the assault case was reported to the police at Siaya Police Station but the suspect was arrested this week following pressure from a paralegal officer and the children's office.
Nation established that the suspect was arraigned on Wednesday and charged with assault.
The letter seen by Nation indicates that the boy’s mother is a casual labourer and is unable to pay the hospital bill.
It reads in part: “The boy's single mother, a casual labourer, has been attending the child in hospital for more than one month. She is unable to pay the hospital bill.”
The letter states that bill had accumulated to Sh30,000 by September 20 but rose to Sh50,000 by September 26, 2019.
“The boy is in dire need of care and protection. He has been unable to attend school like other children and the bill is increasing every day,” adds the letter.
On Thursday the officer confirmed she was yet to receive any response from Mrs Rasanga’s office.
“We were scheduled to meet the first lady on Thursday but the meeting aborted because she had other official engagements,” she said.
When reached for comment Siaya County Chief officer of health Dr Joseph Omondi said the facility does not detain patients.
“Those in hospital are still undergoing treatment. If discharged, they are released home after payment, those unable to pay undergo assessment by social worker and are released,” said Dr Omondi.
He also appeared to fault the sub county children's officer for not raising the issue with the hospital's medical superintendent.
“The children's officer should have addressed the medical superintendent or even have a chat with the doctor. If the issue is at the first lady’s office, I am not authorised to comment,” he added.
Nation also established that some volunteers had raised Sh6500, part of which was donated by the boy's uncle to seek his release from the hospital.