Kenya: Queries Raised After Sonko Suspends Pumwani Maternity Officials

18 September 2018

Questions have arisen on whether Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko could have over-reacted when he interdicted several Pumwani Maternity officials for what he termed as negligence when he supposedly found the bodies of 11 newborns at the hospital.

Nairobi County health bosses have contradicted Mr Sonko's alleged discovery of bodies of infants stuffed in boxes during what he described as an impromptu visit to Pumwani Maternity Hospital.


County executive for Health Veska Kangogo and chief officer Mahat Jimale yesterday, knowingly or otherwise, defended the facility's staff against claims of negligence saying none of the deaths occurred out of unmanageable circumstances.

While on a visit to the referral maternity hospital, the two officials gave a breakdown of how the 11 bodies, so discovered by the governor, came to be.

In the breakdown, Mr Jimale said the 11 were as a result of an accumulative number of deaths that had been recorded at the hospital between Wednesday and Sunday last week.

"The 11 deaths occurred between Wednesday last week and Sunday, where there were 244 deliveries," said Mr Jimale.

The governor's kneejerk reaction begs the question whether he was properly briefed on the situation at the hospital.


The matter also bolstered into the limelight questions on the management and daily operations of the hospital, with many asking if there is adequate budget provision for operations.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki also ordered the sector's regulatory agencies to investigate the death of the newborns.

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