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Gertrude’s Hospital speaks out on claims of detaining boy’s body

The management of Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital has disputed claims that the hospital has detained a 13-year-old boy’s body over an unpaid medical bill.

In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, hours after the boy’s family held a memorial service and appealed for help at the ACK Saint Stephen’s Gatuikira church in Ndenderu, Kiambu county, the hospital refuted the claim saying it was ready to release the body for burial.

At the centre of the dispute is a Sh13 million medical bill, which came about after Brian Kimani Njoroge, a class seven pupil died at the hospital where he was admitted for five-and-a-half months.

The boy was being treated for Acute Myeloid Leukemia, an aggressive cancer that attacks blood cells, which was diagnosed in 2018.

By the time of his death, Brian left a Sh17.9 million bill, but after fundraisers and contributions from family, church and schools, about Sh4 million was raised and paid to the hospital.

The hospital’s Head of Clinical Services Thomas Ngwiri said they had agreed with the family to meet on Thursday, where the family would be expected to give a payment plan for the bill.

“The family informed the hospital yesterday, March 10, 2020, that burial had been planned for Friday, March 13, 2020, and that they would be in touch on Thursday, March 12, 2020, with a payment plan and to collect the body for burial. It is, therefore, surprising that anybody would claim that the hospital has refused to release the body for a funeral service or burial,” Dr Ngwiri said.

But the hospital’s assertion contradicted the family, which had said the hospital’s management wanted collateral before it could release the body.

“To this point, we have not established when we will conduct the burial. We haven’t been able to get the money, or collateral (in order to have the body released). We are at the end. We are waiting on God,” Mr Stephen Njoroge, Brian’s father said.