Kenya: Doctors Deny Wrongdoing After Dead Babies Stuffed in Boxes, Plastic Bags

Doctors’ union chairman, Dr Samuel Oroko (left), and union member, Dr Thuranira Kaugiria (right), at Pumwani Maternity Hospital on September 18, 2018 where they faulted Governor Mike Sonko for suspending their colleagues.
18 September 2018

The dead babies were discovered when Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko made a surprise visit to a maternity hospital. Health officials say the babies were stored in boxes because the hospital does not have a mortuary.

Doctors in Nairobi on Tuesday have denied allegations of malpractice at a maternity hospital after 12 dead babies were discovered stuffed in cardboard boxes and plastic bags.

The discovery was made when Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko made a surprise visit to the Pumwani Maternity Hospital after he received tip-offs from the public alleging wrongdoing.

The incident has put the spotlight on Kenya's worsening public healthcare sector with patients often complaining about neglect and a lack of drugs in hospitals.

Sonko on Monday ordered an investigation into the matter and suspended senior staff.

'Mysterious' deaths

The cause of the deaths were not immediately clear with Sonko saying the babies had died "mysteriously."

The infants died at the weekend following a power blackout, Nairobi's The Star newspaper reported, citing sources at the hospital.

Health officials in Nairobi said the babies had died naturally due to medical complications.

Some of the babies had been born without heartbeats, while others had died during labor or were stillbirths or pre-natal deaths, Mahat Jimale, Nairobi's chief officer of health, told reporters in a news conference.

A medical union said the babies had to be stored in boxes because the hospital lacked a proper mortuary.

ap/msh (dpa, Reuters)

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