What you need to know:
- The family has accused the hospital of negligence, claiming she was not accorded any help by medics as she bled to death.
The death of a woman, Halima Hassan, 58, which occurred at the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital as medical staff held a birthday party for their colleague will be brought before Senate for investigation.
This is according to Laikipia Senator John Kinyua, who has said that he is putting together a report, jointly with local Members of County Assembly (MCAs), and channel the document to the Senate Health Committee chaired by Trans-Nzoia senator Michael Mbito for probe.
“I understand that MCAs have inspected this hospital and have embarked on drafting a report. I will cooperate with them in writing the report so that the same can be forwarded to Senate,” Mr Kinyua said after conducting an impromptu tour to the facility on Sunday.
The case came to light after hundreds of Laikipia residents held a demo last week following Ms Hassan's death.
Last Thursday, a section of MCAs including Majority Leader Joseph Kiguru (Igwamiti) stormed the facility in a bid to unearth what transpired on the material day.
Deputy Speaker Daniel Nyausi (Mukogodo East), County Assembly health committee chairperson Veronicah Ikunyua (Nanyuki Town), Stephen Nderitu (Thingithu) among others, toured the facility scouting for answers from various medical practitioners so as to compile a report on the matter.
“It is sad to note that there are no medicines at the facility and patients are told to buy them at private chemists. We will write down a report on this matter,” Ms Ikunyua said.
The senator appealed to Governor Ndiritu Muriithi to prioritise the health sector and crack the whip on incompetent staff.
“Even if we construct world class roads for our people and fail to guarantee them quality healthcare, this will be injustice. I urge the governor to prioritise healthcare so that we can avert more deaths in our health facilities,” Mr Kinyua said.
The Laikipia County Government has interdicted two medical attendants over the incident.
The health department has dismissed Senior Medical Laboratory Officer Phydelis Wachie Nabwoba and Laboratory Technologist III.
County Health Executive Rose Maitai said the death of Ms Hassan on June 31, 2021 necessitated reorganisation of the laboratory department by axing two health workers.
"From this investigation, as much as this patient had multiple medical complications, in our opinion, there was a significant level of laxity and rudeness from our laboratory staff. This is not acceptable and cannot be condoned, not in the County Government of Laikipia," she said.
Ms Hassan was rushed to the hospital by her husband and children after complaining of a sharp headache, having suffered a stroke, only for the medics to lock themselves in the laboratory for a birthday celebration.
Long wait for help
Mr Ramadhan Hassan, fourth born in the family of six, told Nation.Africa at their Majengo Estate home that medical practitioners at the emergency department directed them to the laboratory section so that a series of tests could be conducted on her.
Upon arriving at the laboratory department, however, Mr Ramadhan said he was told to wait for five minutes and the doors were shut.
“Unfortunately, five minutes turned to close to an hour. By then, my mother’s condition was deteriorating and we had to desperately crack jokes for her so that we could buy time as we waited for the birthday party to end,” Mr Ramadhan said.
“I watched helplessly as my mother gasped her final breaths and the pain that she underwent. Some of the patients who were waiting to get medical attention were bitter about the negligence portrayed by the medics who were busy merry-making,” he added.
Mr Ramadhan says his mother had a stroke in March last year and had, since then, been battling high blood pressure.
“We are not against birthday parties, but it is because of that party that my mother died. That was a show of disrespect not only to us as a family but to all Laikipia residents. The government should be notified that there is a lot of negligence at the hospital and that it lacks doctors and adequate drugs,” he said.
During this year's Madaraka Day celebrations, 24-year-old Jane Njoki died at the same facility due to excessive bleeding.
Family members decried that she was not accorded any help by medics as she bled to death. She left behind two children aged one year and another one aged three weeks.