Meru woman arrested after daughter dies from FGM cut

A 17-year-old girl died in Meru County from complications arising from FGM. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Hospital says the girl's guardian did not inform doctors she had been recently circumcised.
  • Doctors say the girl's diabetes was discovered early but she had since stopped taking her medication.
  • Their efforts to help the girl, 17, regain consciousness were futile.

A woman was on Friday arrested in Igembe Central after her daughter, 17, died from complications arising from female genital mutilation (FGM).

Meru County Health Chief Officer Kanana Kimonye said the girl suffered from diabetes which made treatment of her wound difficult.

The girl, a mother of one who was married off early, died on Wednesday the same day she was admitted unconscious at the Muthara Sub County Hospital.

“The patient was brought to Muthara hospital unconscious and on investigation she was found to have diabetes type 1. The diabetes was diagnosed earlier but had stopped taking medication. Health workers tried to control the sugar but it was not possible because she had a septic wound due to FGM. This is because diabetes complicates wounds and wounds complicate diabetes,” Dr Kimonye said on Friday.

The doctor said their attempts to help the girl regain consciousness were futile because of the infection.

Muthara hospital superintendent Geoffrey Koome said the girl’s guardian did not inform the hospital of the wound which was discovered during treatment. 

“We did our best to manage the patient but the situation was complicated by severe sepsis,” Dr Koome said.

An elder from Kaumone village where the girl lived, Mr John Mungiiria, said she was likely circumcised on Sunday and fell ill three days later.

Mr Kithela Kubai, an anti-FGM activist, said the girl identified as Purity Kathela, was picked up from her matrimonial home by her biological mother, Ms Asha Mwathimba, before she underwent the rite.

“I received a tip-off from neighbours before I engaged the authorities leading to the arrest of the mother. We are now pursuing the circumciser. FGM is a top secret operation that needs more government effort to tame in this area,” Mr Kubai said.