Kenya: 'Kisumu Girls' Student 'May Have Died From Pneumonia'

Bronchial pneumonia may have been the reason why a Form One student died at Kisumu Girls' High School last Friday, a post mortem has revealed.

Government pathologist Thaddeus Massawa, the lead in a team of three that conducted the exam on Wednesday, said both of Anastasia Koech's lungs were infected with bacteria and that only the upper lobe of the left lung was clean.

Mr Massawa said the state of the girls' lungs showed she had been suffering for a while.

"Preliminary results indicate the girl may have succumbed to pneumonia, but the infection might have led to a secondary complication, which is bacterial meningitis, because pus exudates have been found on the right side of the brain."

"These autopsy findings, however, do not depict any chronic illness the girl might have suffered from. Small portions of specimens from the lungs, liver and brain have been taken for histology tests which will be done at Kisumu County Referral Hospital."

He added that samples were also taken from the stomach, alongside urine and blood clots, and sent to the Government Chemist for toxicology tests.

HOSPTIAL VISITS

Kisumu County Commander Benson Maweu said the girl left class at 6.30am that Friday after morning preps and went to the dormitory.

Her colleagues got concerned as she extended her stay in the dormitory. They found her weak and unable to stand when they went to check on her.

She was taken to Kisumu County Referral Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

THE SCHOOL

A preliminary police report showed the girl had been sick for a week and had been treated at the school's dispensary.

A police investigator who did not want to be named said Anastasia did not undergo any tests at the school but was given malaria drugs and pain killers from time to time.

The source said the girl once refused to take the pain killers as she had not improved after taking them for more than a week.

"Students would offer to support her to and from classes because she was too weak to walk. They also brought her food, which she failed to eat in most cases," the source added.

The school's principal declined to speak to journalists and did not answer phone calls or respond to messages for comment on the matter.

'NO DISEASE'

In an interview with the Nation, the girl's father said she had been sick for about a month but had not been diagnosed with any illness.

"She arrived home for the April holidays looking weak and complained of fever and fatigue. Her mother took her to Kuruma dispensary in Kericho where a blood test was taken but it did not find any disease," said Mr Elijah Koech.

Mr Koech said his daughter was later taken to Central Hospital in Kericho as her condition worsened but no disease was detected.

She improved after taking the few drugs she was given, he said.

Additional reporting by Angeline Ochieng

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