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Couple sues hospital over child's premature death

Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY CAROLE MAINA
SEEKING JUSTICE: Fridah and Sylvester Kisonzo leave the Milimani Law Court yesterday. The couple has sued Aga Khan Hospital for medical negligence.
SEEKING JUSTICE: Fridah and Sylvester Kisonzo leave the Milimani Law Court yesterday. The couple has sued Aga Khan Hospital for medical negligence.

A couple has sued the Aga Khan Hospital over the death of their daughter four years ago. Fridah and Silvester Musyoki Kisonzo say the hospital and its employees misdiagnosed their daughter and suggested that she had been a victim of sexual assault.

According to court documents, the couple’s daughter was in good health until she was misdiagnosed. She was admitted to the hospital on May 22, 2009 and died on June 9 of the same year. Dr Donald Oyasti, Dr Pacificah Onyancha, and Dr Rachael Kangethe have been named as respondents in the suit.

A postmortem conducted by Dr A Gachii in the presence of Dr E Rogena, Dr J Kirimi, Dr Magungu revealed that the girl died of Meningoencephalitis. The couple say the condition is treatable and their daughter could have been cured if a proper diagnosis was made.

They say the doctors mismanaged and negligently managed her leading to a premature death. Allegedly, the hospital initially suggested that the girl was a victim of sexual assault by a close relative and singled out the father as the culprit.

The parents accuse the hospital of writing to their insurance company suggesting that the ailment their daughter suffered from was not insurable, an issue which forced them to pay the initial bills The insurance company wrote to inquire the nature of the disease she died of to enable them make an informed decision.

The company later cleared the bill and the hospital has since refunded the couple. The parents want the court to find the hospital and the three doctors liable.

The couple say the doctors did not exercise and use reasonable care and skills In its response to the suit, the Aga Khan Hospital denies that the girl was at any time mismanaged or treated in a negligent manner as implied.

The hospital says the girl was professionally and skillfully treated in the best possible manner and the death was not in any way occasioned by the alleged negligent on the part of the doctors. The case came up for hearing yesterday before justice Rose Ougo but it did not proceed after the judge said she was not comfortable handling it.