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Four mothers, newborns locked in basement room over Sh400k bill – VIDEO

Four mothers and their newborns are being detained at a private hospital in Embu town after failing to foot hospital bills said to be over Sh400,000.

The mothers, three of whom are accompanied by their young ones, are spending their time in a tiny room at the basement of County Medical Centre in Embu town while waiting for relatives to rescue them.

Ms Irene Karimi a resident of Embu town, Ms Lisper Wanja from Gangara, Ms Catherine Wanja from Makima and Ms Naomi Kalekye from Mwingi in Kitui County are relying on well-wishers for food.

Sharing their predicament on Tuesday, Ms Kalekye couldn’t hold back her tears after losing her young one during childbirth.

She said she has no one to turn to after her husband abandoned her.

The hospital’s director Dr Robert Njagi said the lock-up was prompted by a string of losses after patients escaped with huge bills in the wake of the doctors’ countrywide strike.

“We have four mothers who cannot pay the bills … I have reached a point where I have decided not to charge any more. This being a company, and we are also in business, I have just asked their relatives to bring food to them,” he said.

Dr Njagi said the facility has been operating at a loss since the doctors’ strike started and has been forced to waive bills of poor patients without NHIF cover.

He said two new mothers had last week escaped with their young ones with a bill of over Sh70,000 each.