City detectives sent to Pumwani Hospital to capture baby killers
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Monday sent a team of detectives to the Pumwani Maternity Hospital to probe the death of 12 infants, whose bodies were discovered by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
A team of investigators, led by Buruburu DCIO Jeremiah Ikiao, interrogated staff, management and mothers at the facility to establish allegations that the children died due to negligence and that the management tried to conceal the real number of deaths.
Governor Sonko made an impromptu visit to the hospital at 8am after he received a call from the caretaker of a new mother who alleged that there were no doctors overnight and that the power supply to the nursery was interrupted, leading to the deaths of children in incubators.
Governor Sonko reported the matter to Pangani Police Station, saying that the negligence and concealing of death were criminal acts and those responsible should be arrested and charged.
He then went ahead to deploy doctors from Mbagathi Hospital to temporarily provide health services to the mothers at the Pumwani Hospital.
The governor promised to hire 80 nurses for county hospitals this month to fill the void left by nurses who have exited public service.
At the hospital, mothers said they had not experienced any form of disturbance at night, and some were not even aware of the governor’s visit.
“I have been at the nursery since Saturday and I only know of two children who died there. There was a blackout on Sunday evening, but the generator was put on immediately. I am not aware of the deaths of such a high number of children,” said Ms Caro Mukami, a mother.
HARSH TO MOTHERS
Although she said nurses at the facility’s nursery and wards are harsh to mothers, she said no day had passed without her receiving treatment.
A nurse told the Nation that over 100 children are born everyday at the facility, with almost an equal number of mothers also leaving the facility daily.
“Out of that number, some three or four may die. Some die at birth while some at the incubator. Some of them are stillbirths. The children Sonko is talking about were those that died since Friday. This is not an alarming number here,” the nurse said.
Several leaders and politicians took to social media to air their disappointment about the mismanagement of the hospital, with Senator Johnson Sakaja asking the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to probe claims of child swapping, sale and trafficking at the facility.
“The situation unearthed at Pumwani is saddening, heartbreaking and undeserving to any family. Spoken to DCI to investigate concerned parties on the deaths of the babies as well as allegations of child trafficking and baby swaps,” the senator said.