Baby dies awaiting ambulance to KNH


What you need to know:

  • Mr Gerald Juma’s son Dominic Otieno fell sick at around 6am on Wednesday and he was taken to a clinic in Komarock.

  • From the clinic, the child was referred to Mama Lucy Hospital where the doctors put him on oxygen and recommended he be taken to KNH.

  • Juma's family waited for five hours for the hospital's only ambulance to be available.

  • After the child died, the parents had to wait for another six hours since no mortuary attendant was on duty then.

A couple in Nairobi is mourning the death of their three-month old son after waiting for an ambulance for over five hours.

Mr Gerald Juma’s son Dominic Otieno fell sick at around 6am on Wednesday and he was taken to a clinic in Komarock.

They were, however, referred to Mama Lucy Hospital where they arrived at around 9am.

Mr Juma said doctors put his son on oxygen and told him that he was in a critical condition and should be taken to Kenyatta National Hospital.


They waited for over five hours as the only ambulance had taken a patient to KNH.

He said nurses kept telling them to wait as they were doing all they could to get their son the help he needed.

Mr Juma noted that the doctor would occasionally come to inquire why the child had not been transferred.

Mr Juma said he was given the numbers of private ambulances by the nurse but most were out of service.

“I finally got a G4S ambulance which charged Sh4,000,” he said.

On his way from making the phone call at around 1pm, he saw the ambulance arrive and asked the driver to take his son.

However, the driver said he was there to take another patient who was going into theatre.

“I also informed the nurse that the ambulance had arrived but the control room said it was first going to be refuelled,” said Mr Juma.

As the ambulance was making rounds in the hospital, the distraught father said, he went back to the doctor to ask him to allow his son to accompany the other patient being taken to Kenyatta.

He met a nurse who told him to go back to his son in the ward. He found doctors surrounding him. Dominic had died.

They waited for over six hours before they could go to the mortuary as the hospital did not have a mortuary attendant and the available one was stuck in traffic.

According to Nairobi executive member Bernard Muia the hospital does not have a mortuary attendant but relies on those at the City Mortuary.

Despite handling over 1,300 outpatients daily, the hospital has one working ambulance, with City Hall blaming a sponsor for having donated Chinese ambulances which are no longer working.

The county secretary, Dr Robert Ayisi, said the case is being investigated.


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