A leading hospital in Kiambu County is on the spot following the alleged assault of a caregiver by its security guards early this month in a bizarre incident that has left the victim bedridden with broken limbs.
Mr John Mbugua, 21, was allegedly brutally beaten by guards at the Kijabe Mission Hospital on June 1 following an altercation at the gate as he was leaving the facility, where he had been for close to a month.
He had been taking care of his sister, brother-in-law and their two children who had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after surviving a grisly road accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. Three other relatives died in the crash that happened during the Easter weekend.
Mr Mbugua’s sister, her husband and one of their children were later discharged as he stayed to take care of his nephew, who was yet to be released.
All was well until June 1 when the guards reportedly assaulted him after a misunderstanding at the gate as he was leaving after being relieved by his sister. The guards had demanded to know whether he had the permission to be allowed out of the facility.
He was familiar with hospital policy and knew that a caregiver has to secure a written permission to be allowed out. He had previously been permitted to leave twice. On this day, however, the permit letter had not been stamped because it was on a public holiday; Madaraka Day.
“I showed the letter but was not allowed to leave. It had to be stamped. I had it stamped then returned to the gate to be cleared. The nurses had come to intervene,” he recalled.
“They, however, insisted that I should be accompanied by whomever I had left behind. My sister, who had come to relieve me, was still in crutches and could not walk all the way to the gate. I explained to the guards the circumstances but they would hear none of it.”
At this point, the nurses came to his rescue and he was allowed to leave. When he thought the stalemate had ended, and thanked the nurses for their help, a female guard suddenly claimed he had insulted her.
“I did not, but she called for backup. The other guards came and immediately descended on me with blows and kicks. They were about seven. They then pushed me to a room where they beat me up in shifts until I was unconscious,” said Mr Mbugua.
He only remembers waking up in a hospital bed. He lost his national identity card and Sh1,000. The family also had to part with Sh13,836 for treatment.
“I’m now bedridden and struggling to return to normal life,” he told the Nation. The matter was reported at Kijabe Police Station.
The medical examination report seen by the Nation states he sustained “grievous bodily harm”, which “amounts to maim, or dangers life, or seriously or permanently injures health”. The hospital admitted that a relative of a patient had been assaulted at the facility.
“The hospital is aware of an alleged assault of a patient’s relative on June 1. An internal audit has already taken place to ensure compliance with set standard procedures,” it said on June 9. “The hospital is also fully co-operating with the local area police, providing them with available assistance and evidence to enable rapid resolution of the investigation.”
Sources told the Nation the hospital wrote a letter to the police asking for fresh investigations.