Outrage over rape allegations at KNH - Daily Nation

Outrage on social media over rape allegations at KNH

Friday January 19 2018

Lily Koros and Cleopa Mailu.

Kenyatta National Hospital CEO Lily Koros and Health CS Cleopa Mailu at the hospital on January 19, 2018. The Cabinet secretary said investigations are ongoing on allegations that patients have been raped at the facility. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By AGGREY OMBOKI
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National outrage was building up on Friday over a Facebook post detailing allegations of abuse at Kenyatta National Hospital.

The allegations contained in a Facebook group known as "Buyer Beware" accused the hospital of being "a hotspot of all kinds of criminal activities".

RAPE ATTEMPT

Ms Mildred Owiso alleged she had met a woman who fought off a rape attempt in the lift.

"The only thing that saved her was her voice. She screamed her attacker off," she wrote.

The rape attempt allegedly took place as the woman went to the nursery, on the first floor. The maternity ward is on the third floor, while other women are housed on the ground floor.

Ms Owiso also claimed petty theft was rampant in the facility.

"A lady dressed in Christian regalia was caught red handed with her hand in another woman's purse," she wrote.

Other group members also shared their experiences, alleging that the mortuary attendants would uncover bodies they were transporting to the morgue when they met the women in the corridors.

“When we meet them in the corridors, the attendants would uncover dead bodies on the stretcher or even attempt to rape us," said another post.

DENIAL

Hospital staff who spoke on condition of anonymity denied the possibility of such incidents.

"How can rape take place in such an open place where so many people are always passing and witnesses fail to say it? I have never heard of [it]. These allegations are part of a smear campaign targeting the management," said a security officer only known as Lamech.

A patient who would only speak on condition of anonymity claimed that another patient who had been raped later died.

The Nation was not able to verify her claims as she refused to allow the correspondent to alert the hospital authorities to interview her.

"I don't want these people to know me, I fear the consequences," said the woman, who had given birth three weeks ago.

Kenyatta National Hospital Newborn Unit.

Kenyatta National Hospital's Newborn Unit on September 14, 2017. National outrage was building up on Friday over a Facebook post detailing allegations of rape attempts on new mothers as they go to breastfeed their babies. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

INVESTIGATION

Health CS Cleopa Mailu ordered an investigation into the incident. He asked the hospital administration to investigate the matter and beef up security at the facility to protect patients and their relatives.

"The CS has noted social media reports, alleged rape of mothers on their way to and from the Newborn Unit. The CS has further ordered investigations into the matter. The KNH, management and security agents will provide a detailed report on Monday, January 23, 2017," he said on the Ministry of Health Twitter handle.