The Nation (Nairobi)

29 January 2012

Kenya: Babies Die As Kenyan Nurses Go On Strike

Three babies have died at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, with the mothers blaming nurses for the deaths.

In a survey conducted at the hospital by the Nation during the afternoon visiting hours on Sunday, patients complained of nurses unwilling to serve them and neglect by doctors throughout Saturday.

Mr Ernest Mwangi was at pains to explain how his new-born died on Friday from what he says was neglect by nurses.

"It is painful to pay the maternity bill and take my wife home with no baby yet they are to blame for ignoring her," said Mr Mwangi.

Tears rolled down his wife's cheeks and she broke down as she tried to explain the events of what has now become a black Friday.

The mothers were still admitted in ward two as they waited for their relatives to clear their pending bills.

The second mother told the Nation that she was pregnant for seven and a half months and her baby was in distress for an hour before the hospital staff came to her aid.

"The baby was born and taken to the nursery but I was later informed that it had passed away due to difficult labour," she said.

"If they had come earlier, my baby would be breastfeeding now," she added.

The third mother declined to talk much to the Nation as she waited for her husband and relatives.

"My baby is no more" is all she managed to tell say.

The patients said the poor service and insults they were subjected to made them regret why they had sought services at the hospital.

"We are miserable and have no one to turn to," said Ms Agnes Moraa, one of the mothers who has been at the health facility since Tuesday last week awaiting delivery.

She was referred to the hospital after she reported at a clinic that her baby was no longer kicking. She was scheduled for a Caesarean section on Thursday.

The hospital superintendent, Dr Lazarus Omondi, declined to comment on the matter.

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