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February 22, 2019

Rape claim by nursing mum at KNH sparks social media uproar

Kenyatta National Hospital CEO Lilly Koross and Health CS Dr Cleopa Mailu at the hospital on July 19 last year /HEZRON NJOROGE
Kenyatta National Hospital CEO Lilly Koross and Health CS Dr Cleopa Mailu at the hospital on July 19 last year /HEZRON NJOROGE

Kenyatta National Hospital has asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to probe an alleged rape attempt at the facility. 

KNH, the largest referral hospital in East Africa, was trending on social media on Friday.  

A social media user posted on Facebook that a woman was nearly raped in the corridor as she was going to breastfeed her twins at 3am.

Mildred Owiso, who described the incident on the ‘Buyer Beware’ group has not lodged a complaint at the hospital.

Read: Why rape breastfeeding mothers? KNH on spot after public outcry


Woman delivered twins

“Security is a big issue, especially for mothers whose kids are in the nursery,” Owiso posted. “The nurseries are on the ground floor and the mothers on the third floor. Today a lady who was nearly raped. She had gone to breastfeed her babies at about 3am. Screaming saved her. Never mind she had her twins by cesarean and has barely healed. Such vulnerable mothers need protection.”


MORE complaints

Her post thrust the hospital into the spotlight and generated a furore on social media. 

Quite a few women supported her and said rapes and attempted rapes at KNH have been a problem for some time. They say they have to walk in groups for safety.

Some blamed mortuary attendants and said they are the biggest threat at night. 

One said they uncovered corpses to terrify women. However, morgue attendants are only supposed to collect bodies in the daytime when summoned.

Addressing journalists at 3pm after Kenyans took to Twitter to express outrage, hospital CEO Lilly Koross said the facility has not received any complaints.

“I am saddened by the rape allegations. The Facebook post was authored in bad faith. I urge all Kenyans to ignore it,” Koross said.

She said expectant women are on the third floor. Infants stay in the newborns unit on the first floor.

Koross said mothers must breastfeed their babies every three hours. They visit the unit 6pm, 9pm, 12 (midnight) and 3am.


captured on CCTV?

“We have checked all records and talked to security staff. We have no record of such incident. Whoever reported the matter must come out and make a formal complaint,” Koross said. 

CCTV cameras were installed in the hospital two years ago to ensure patients’ safety.

KNH communication officer Simon Ithai said tat least 300 hospital security officers are on night duty.

Officials of the doctors’ union condemned the reported incident and called for the management of the hospital to investigate.

Secretary general Ouma Oluga also called on the person who disclosed the incident on Facebook to name the patient. 



In this way, investigtors will be helped and the woman can be given the counselling she needs if this indeed happened, he said

“We have gone through the CCTV footage and it is like that person does not exist. We are not investigators, we are doctors. But we are calling on the person who posted on social media to come out,” Oluga said.  

Chairman Samuel Oroko also asked the hospital to consider putting mothers and the newborns on the same floor.

Health CS Cleopa Mailu also ordered the management of the hospital to do their own investigation and submit a detailed on Monday 22, January. 

Also read: Mailu orders probe into rape allegations at KNH

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