Kenya: Outrage as Woman Dies While Giving Birth in Voi Hospital

24 January 2019

The death of a woman while giving birth at Taita Taveta's Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, has sparked outrage among residents and a section of women leaders.

Ms Fatuma Mugambi is alleged to have died on Monday due to lack of electricity at the hospital's theatre.

The back-up generator that supplies power during blackouts could not supply sufficient electricity to the whole facility.

The theatre and the CT scan centre are among the crucial departments that were hit by the power crisis that has made the hospital to refer patients to neighbouring sub county hospitals.

According to sources at the facility, Ms Mugambi died while waiting to be transferred to Wesu Hospital in Wundanyi for a caesarean section.


According to her sister-in-law, Mercy Dishan Ms Mugambi was referred to the hospital from Bughuta Dispensary on Sunday night.

She revealed that Ms Mugambi, a mother of four, had a prolonged labour before the nurse in charge at Bughuta Dispensary told them that the patient had to undergo a caesarean section.

Ms Dishan said that they arrived at the Moi County Referral Hospital at 10pm on Sunday only for her sister-in-law to be attended to at 3am the following day.

"Why did they check her in if they knew the theatre was not working? They could have referred us immediately to Wesu or a nearby private facility," she said.

Taita Taveta Woman Representative Lydia Haika condemned the incident terming it as an act of negligence.


Ms Haika blamed the hospital's management for failing to quickly address challenges affecting the facility, especially the maternity wing.

She said that it was disappointing for a county referral hospital to lack electricity for one week.

"Many people depend on this hospital. Most residents cannot afford medical services in private facilities. We cannot sit and watch innocent women lose lives due to negligence of a few officers," she said.

Sauti ya Wanawake leaders in the area condemned the incident saying the management should be held accountable for Ms Mugambi's death.

Taita Taveta County Executive for Health Dr Frank Mwangemi confirmed that a woman had died at the facility while giving birth.

He, however, said that the department was facing an acute shortage of health workers since patients seeking services at the hospital had increased by 50 per cent in the last one year.

"Electricity has been restored in the theatre," Dr Mwangemi said.

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