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City mum loses preterm twins who were ‘placed in carton’ at Mama Lucy Hospital

A young mother’s hope for a twin bundle of joy was cruelly shattered after her babies died at Mama Lucy Hospital under controversial circumstances.

Mercyline Ongachi, 20, was rushed to Mama Lucy Hospital from a maternity clinic in Mukuru Kwa Rueben slums on August 25.

Healthcare workers at the latter facilities noticed she was experiencing premature labour.

Accompanied by a nurse and her two sisters in an ambulance, Mercyline is said to have arrived at Mama Lucy Hospital at mid-morning, in labour.

The level five hospital has, however, been accused of refusing to offer any assistance to the first-time mother who had to deliver the first baby alone despite crying for help.

“When she got to Mama Lucy, she was admitted immediately. The ward where she was had another pregnant patient who was also in labour. After minutes of screaming for help, a health worker walked in but attended to the other patient first, forcing Mercyline to deliver alone,” explained Sandra Mwarania, a health rights campaigner at Amnesty International, which has taken up the case.


Halfway through the second birth, the health worker, who according to the human right organisation, had no idea that the young mother was expectant with twins, moved in to help deliver the second baby.

“The attending health worker assessed the condition of the newborns and told Ms Ongachi that they were both too young to survive,” added Ms Mwarania.

At this point, the worker allegedly decided to place the infants, born at six months, not in an incubator, but in a carton box. There were no attempts to save their lives.

To make matters worse, the facility misplaced Mercyline’s documentations forcing her to stay overnight.

Amnesty International has written to the Administration of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital and national and county government offices to demand an investigation and the circumstances that led to the death of her twins.

When contacted, Mama Lucy’s medical superintendent Dr Musa Mohammed said he could not comment on the matter on phone.