Kenyatta National Hospital has defended itself against accusations of negligence by a woman who claimed her critically ill injured mother died because she was ignored.
The facility’s response came after a city woman appealed online for assistance, accusing its management of calling for her arrest after she recorded videos detailing doctors’ alleged negligence.
Ms Hannah Njoki, 68, was admitted on August 25 with a severe head injury after a road accident.
Her story was published in Nairobi News, prompting the management to release the statement exonerating the facility from the family’s allegations.
In a 27-minute video posted live on Kilimani Mums and Dads Facebook groups, Karen Gacheru narrated how a doctor, whom she identified, allegedly ignored her mother for two days after she was admitted with a head injury.
"My mother was knocked down by a motorbike, sustaining a head injury on Saturday morning as she proceeded home after an overnight prayer session. I took her to KNH’s emergency unit.
“When we reached the hospital, the doctors who saw her told us she required admission in the intensive care unit (ICU). She was not admitted for two days despite our pleas,” said Ms Gacheru.
“After repeated pleas to the doctor who was attending to my mother, I remember the doctor telling us to transfer her to another hospital. When I requested information on which procedure to follow, he ignored me.
“I was later called and told that my mother had passed away. When I questioned why they had neglected her, they called a counsellor to talk to me.
"During our session, I made the mistake of telling the official that I had recorded videos of a doctor who told me there was nothing she could do for my mum. Minutes later, police came after me asking me to delete the videos I had taken. They searched me
but luckily I did not have my phone so I escaped and came to record this video."
KNH Clinical Services Director Dr Peter Masinde admitted that the woman was admitted at the facility but said it was not in the ICU ward, contrary to doctors' orders.
“Unfortunately, there was no bed so she was admitted in ward 5B. Treatment was initiated [as they awaited] availability of a bed” said Dr Masindi.
The medic said the woman's relatives were informed of the lack of a bed and advised to transfer her to private facility, a recommendation which they declined to follow due to lack of funds.
"It is regrettable that she passed away on August 28 while waiting for an ICU bed at the hospital," said the official.
Ms Gacheru alleged that the nurses neglected her mother, denying her attention and medication. She accused them of denying the woman oxygen and refusing to listen to her concerns as she lay helpless in her ward.
“I asked the doctors why my mum was being taken to ward 5B yet they had recommended an ICU admission. They told me to seek services at a private facility," she said.
"A nurse at the ward complained that my mother was too critical to stay at the ward but when she called the people at the emergency unit, she complied and put our mother in a room. Why would a whole national referral hospital tell a poor Kenyan to seek help at a private facility?”
Ms Gacheru said she fears for her life as strangers have been approaching her, asking her not to release the videos she recorded so as not to expose the doctor she accused of neglecting her mother.
The hospital has kept silent on her claims of police harassment.