Mbagathi hospital denies charging Sh3,000 to dispose of dead babies

The entrance to Mbagathi District Hospital in Nairobi as pictured on July 8, 2018. /ENOS TECHE
The entrance to Mbagathi District Hospital in Nairobi as pictured on July 8, 2018. /ENOS TECHE

Mbagathi Hospital has denied claims of charging mothers Sh3,000 to dispose of the bodies of dead babies.

“These allegations are not true and nothing of that sort is happening at Mbagathi,” Medical superintendent Joseph Karani said yesterday.

The claims emerged after Immaculate Auma walked with her dead baby from the facility to Kenyatta National Hospital police post on Wednesday.

She later took the body to City Mortuary. Auma arrived at Mbagathi Hospital on Wednesday at 9.45am with the six-month old baby.

The infant was declared dead by a clinical officer. Yesterday, acting Health executive Charles Kerich said Auma and her baby were never admitted.

“Mbagathi does not admit cases where a person is brought in dead. The mother/relative is required to file a notification with the police,” Kerich said.

He said the hospital was organising for transport to the police before realising Auma had left with the body of her child.

“Auma and her baby were never admitted at Mbagathi and her baby did not die at the hospital. The staff did nothing wrong. Consequently, the investigation was closed,” Kerich said.

Kerich said Mbagathi was facing problems which have hampered services. They include an inefficient customer care desk and relaxation of security especially at the gate.

The problems are cited in a report of the management team. “For the sake of transparency and accountability, we feel that we should let people know the gaps at Mbagathi,” Kerich said.

He said there were gaps in information flow and that lack of a utility vehicle had also hindered service delivery.

Kerich said the county had taken measures the improve services. He said bodies of patients brought in when dead will be kept at the hospital mortuary and relatives asked to report to police.

”Issuance of burial permits will be done by City Mortuary and postmortem needs taken over by the hospital,” Kerich said.

He said guards will be trained on customer care for better relations with patients. The hospital will liaise with KNH police “to be coming to the hospital for cases of bodies brought in”.