22 March 2018

Kenya: Another Surgery Goes Wrong at Kenyatta National Hospital

Photo: Nairobi News
Kenyatta National Hospital.

Kenya's top referral hospital is on the spot yet again following claims of a botched caesarean section.

Susan Nekesa says she walked into Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in labour on January 25 and delivered twin girls the following day.

However, hours after the surgery, Nekesa's stomach became swollen and she began experiencing excruciating pain.

The pain, she told Citizen TV, was so much that she could barely speak.

In the TV report, a desperate and distraught Nekesa struggles to sit up in bed as tear roll down her cheeks.

Amid sobs, she shares her ordeal, saying, "Naomba Mungu memory yangu isipotee... (I am praying that I do not lose my memory).

"When I came to see her, I found that she had a swollen stomach," says Evelyn Anindo, Nekesa's sister.

"Her stomach was also very hot and she could not talk. We communicated using signs."

Mistake

On complaining to KNH medical staff, Nekesa was wheeled back to the theatre, and it was then that doctors admitted they had made a mistake.

"It was discovered that the surgery was done wrongly," says Robert Sitati, Nekesa's husband.

"A portion of the small intestines, like 50cm, was outside the chamber where it was supposed to be," he says.

To remedy the situation, doctors removed the affected portion of Nekesa's intestines and left a small opening (called stoma) to allow her pass stool through a colostomy bag.

The patient and her family clung on hopes of their kin recovering and walking home with their bundles of joy.

But on Tuesday, the family received even worse news: that one of their twins had died.

"They said that my child had a hole in the heart," says distressed Nekesa.

However, Nekesa's husband says that he was told by a KHN staff member that their child chocked on milk.

"Someone told me that the person who fed my child was not very experienced," says Sitati.

Neglect

What followed for Nekesa, who is mourning the death of her baby, is a difficult period of pain, neglect and bitterness toward KNH doctors who did not perform their job well.

"Nobody is taking care of her," says Evelyn

"When the colostomy bag gets full, it is up to her [the patient] to struggle to the bathroom to empty it."

At the moment, the family has been left stranded, with the KNH team imploring them to be patient because the hospital has no consultants to attend to Nekesa.

Early this month, registrars and doctors pursuing masters' degrees went on strike after some of their colleagues were suspended following a botched brain surgery.

Sitati says the hospital has also warned him against transferring his wife, saying he will foot medical bills himself if he leaves KNH.

For Nekesa, it is a desperate case of hoping against hope; hoping for hope.

"They have kept me here for so long... I have been persevering... with the hope than one day I will go and see my children," she says.

More on This

At KNH in Nairobi, Another Surgery Goes Wrong

Kenyatta National Hospital is on the spot yet again following claims of a botched caesarean section. Read more »

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