Mother of boy who died with fork jembe lodged in head to appear before Senate

Judy Muthoni, 29, captured in this file photo with her son Travis Maina

Judy Muthoni, 29, captured in this file photo with her son Travis Maina (left) who died at the Kenyatta National Hospital on October 11, 2022. One of her sons hit Travis with a fork jembe in Ndula village, Thika East Kiambu.

Photo credit: Family Album

Senators will on Monday, October 31, start investigating the deaths of baby Travis Maina and Edward Otieno, who died at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, respectively.

The Senate Health Committee will meet Travis’ mother, Judy Muthoni, this morning to shed light on the order of events that led to the death of her child.

Then on Tuesday, Otieno’s mother, Ruth, will appear before the committee chaired by Mandera Senator Ali Roba.

The committee is investigating accusations of negligence at the hospitals.

Two-year-old Travis succumbed during surgery at the national referral hospital earlier this month as medics tried to remove a fork jembe lodged in his head.

The child had allegedly waited too long for emergency treatment after being rushed to KNH from Thika Level Five Hospital, where he was referred after initially being taken to Ndula Dispensary.

In Otieno’s case, he died allegedly as a result of negligence at Mama Lucy Hospital, where he was rushed after a road accident.

The Senate committee said last week that lawmakers wanted to find out what happened.

Senator Mandago said the committee would summon officials from KNH, Thika Level Five, Kiambu Level Five and Mama Lucy, as well as the Health Cabinet Secretary.

He explained that the investigations will also help identify gaps and policy issues affecting the referral system.

“This is just one case of the many that happen in hospitals because it caught the attention of the public, but there could be very many others that go unreported,” he said.

Ms Muthoni had decried delays at KNH’s casualty wing, saying she was told medics were attending to a different emergency, adding that her son died because she is poor.

Senator Hamida Kibwana said the inquiry will reveal the steps medics took to respond to the patient.

“We must put a stop to this so as to avoid such occurrences in the future. We want to know how the ordeal started up until the said deaths,” she said.