10 January 2013

Kenya: Union Blames Moi Hospital for Intern's Death

Controversy has erupted over the death of a medical student at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital after he allegedly contracted the contagious Hepatitis B disease while on duty.

The Union of Kenya Clinical Officers claim the student, Bernard Mugawe, contracted the disease while on internship at the referral hospital while the hospital denies the allegations.

Speaking to the press yesterday, deputy CEO Dr Wilson Arwasa said the deceased reported for attachment early last year while unwell and was diagnosed with the disease.

He said the hospital had offered Mugawe free treatment when he was diagnosed with the disease and had also taken all the necessary steps to help him.

Also speaking to the press yesterday, union vice chairperson Peterson Wachira insisted that Mugawe, who died on January 1, did in fact get infected at the hospital.

"We are certain that he got the disease while at the referral hospital because he cannot have stayed with it for over a year", he said.

Arwasa said the hospital has nothing to hide and has notified the Occupational Health and Safety Officer along with Ministry of Public Health officials.

"As required by law, we have notified relevant authorities and as they carry out independent investigations, the truth will come out," he said.

Hepatitis B is irritation and swelling of the liver due to infection with the hepatitis B virus. According to the US National library of medicine website, some people's bodies are not able to completely get rid of the infection and it becomes chronic.

Many people who have chronic hepatitis B have few or no symptoms. They may not even look sick and as a result, may not know they are still infected. This according to medics could be what happened to Mugawe. He will be buried at his Suba home in Kisumu on Friday.

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