Kenya-Scholastica Wanjiru was admitted at the maternity wing of Juja Road Hospital last Tuesday ready to give birth to her second child.
She was excited and some family members were by her side to offer comfort and monitor the countdown.
Last Saturday at around 1pm, Wanjiru had experienced a sharp pain in her lower abdomen and asked doctors for an ultrasound to see what was happening.
She had been receiving prenatal care at the facility for eight months, the family said.
Upon examination, nurses determined that Wanjiru’s unborn child had died in her womb and it was necessary to remove the baby to save the mother’s life.
The doctors wanted to induce labour; the family insisted on an emergency C-section, Wanjiru’s aunt, Hellen Munene, said. The doctors prevailed.
Munene said the doctors dismissed her insistence on a C-section, saying she was “pressuring them for a method that don’t often work with”.
“They put a tablet beneath Wanjiru’s tongue. All of a sudden, Wanjiru started shaking. The doctors said they would wait for her to go through all stages of induced labour, until the final one,” Munene said in tears.
The labour lasted more than 24 hours.
“At some point [on Sunday], Wanjiru felt the baby was almost out and even felt the head. The nurse confirmed this, even saw the head of the child and instructed her to climb down from her bed and walk to the labour ward,” Munene said.
Wanjiru trudged painfully to the labour ward.
“After close to 30 minutes or one hour, they emerged, asking for the relative of Wanjiru,” Munene said. Her niece had died.
“It is so painful to lose my niece so abruptly,” she sobbed.
The family accuses the hospital of negligence. They say if the hospital had swiftly performed an emergency C-section as the family had demanded, their niece would have lost the child but survived to take care of her first one.
The hospital rejected any blame or negligence, telling the Star its doctors followed every protocol to save Wanjiru’s life.
“[This] patient went on and delivered and complications which were not anticipated came in. Every effort was made to save this patient’s life strictly under my instruction,” hospital director Matui Kavika said.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board is investigating the death at the Starehe-based facility. The board’s agents toured the facility in a preliminary investigation.
“It was unfair for the people at the hospital to interfere with our team because I understand even some people at the hospital were injured, which is not how we do business,” the board’s chief executive Daniel Yumbya told Citizen TV.-The Star