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Senators blame pathologist in Pumwani inquiry

Controversy surrounding the disappearance of twin babies from Pumwani Maternity Hospital took a twist, with claims that different boxes containing bodies of the babies were presented for postmortem exams.

On Thursday, government pathologist Johanssen Oduor claimed he was told the bodies arrived in a cream coloured box whereas the ones brought for postmortem exam were in a brown box with the words “Not to be disposed” on it.

The pathologist told the Senate Health Committee that the bodies had been taken for autopsy that was to be carried out by pathologist Dorothy Njeru on a Friday.

However, he said the exam did not happen due to lack of medical notes and doctors representing the hospital.

Staff from the hospital said the bodies were in a cream box with a black seal.


The committee was to probe the matter following a dispute pitting the hospital management and Mr Dedan Kimathi and his wife Jacinta Wanjiku, who claimed their babies were swapped with dead ones.

The hospital management has maintained that the babies were born dead and dismissed Ms Wanjiku’s claims that she heard one of the babies cry.

“There would be 60 mothers screaming. The maternity ward is busy.

The hospital is the largest maternity in East Africa. In January, we were handling 100 deliveries per day,” said Dr Omondi Kumba, the hospital superintendent.

The committee members said there was need for Dr Njeru and all those who handled the body during the aborted postmortem exam to appear before the committee to shed light on what happened.


“That is where the lacuna is. We must fill the gap before we make a decision,” said Dr Wilfred Machage (Migori, ODM).

Members present included Dr Machage, Ms Mvita Mshenga (Nominated, URP), Ms Zipporah Kittony (Nominated, Kanu) and Ms Beth Mugo (Nominated, TNA).

Dr Machage faulted the government pathologist for going ahead to conduct the postmortem exam on bodies that were not labelled and whose features were different from those on the medical report.

Source: Daily Nation