A woman at the Kitale County Referral Hospital risks arm amputation after a foreign object was left inside her arm during a minor operation.
Phena Kwamboka a mother of two is among hundreds of locals whom out of ignorance fall prey to unscrupulous medics at the facility who defraud them cash in backdoors.
It all started on 22 February when Kwamboka and the husband Lambat Wekulo from Lukhuna village arrived at the facility seeking the removal of an implant for family planning known as Jadelle.
Wekulo and the wife had been directed to a specific ‘doctor' at the hospital by an attendant at a Chemist that borders the hospital.
“We thought they offer the services at the chemist but after inquiring, the attendant at the Chemist gave us a doctor's number and told us he deals with such cases and that we will be assisted,” Wekulo told the Star.
After contacting the said doctor he told them to meet him at the hospital's laboratory.
“We met him and he told us that the matter is small, he will handle it but we had to first give him Sh4000,” Wekulo said.
Since the couple had no money at the moment, ‘doctor' Victor Wafula asked them to go look for the cash first before he attends to them.
The Star established later that the said doctor is a nurse at the facility.
After two days Wekulo called the doctor informing him that they had only managed to get Sh2000.
He accepted and asked them to go back to the hospital the following day.
They went back to the same doctor and he conducted the operation at the minor theatre.
Normally the procedure is done at the Mother-Child Healthcare (MCH) department and the charges are Sh250.
Seated in a bed at a surgical ward Kwamboka writhing in pain explained to the star how the operation was conducted; “I was injected on the arm, and immediately he cut the flesh with some scissors to remove the implant, the pain was unbearable, I screamed and told him it was too painful, but he asked me to shut up and allow him to do his thing,” she said.
“Before the implant was removed, I was bleeding profusely, blood gushed out of my arm, I was worried, and so he could not continue with the procedure, he placed a cotton like thing to stop the bleeding, at some point he left me and went outside to make a call,” she narrated.
When Wafula came back after a call, he stitched the arm with the cotton inside, and asked them to return to the hospital after a week.
“I have created a way in your arm where I will follow it to remove the implant when you come next Friday, “ they were told by the doctor.
At the moment, Kwambokas arm had swollen, four times the normal size.
They left for home, but they did not reach, as Kwambokas pain was enormously increasing. Some women at the bus stage advised them to go find help at the Marie stopes which is within Kitale town.
At the Marie stopes they were told to go back to where the procedure had been conducted.
They went back to the facility, but this time they followed the right channel of inpatient admission.
A different doctor saw them, gave them some painkiller and they were advised to go home.
Three days later, Kwambokas arm kept on swelling and the pain became more and more unbearable.
Later, Wekulo called Wafula and informed him that the patients condition was worsening, Wafula told them that he had gone to a seminar in Eldoret and that he will not be around until Sunday but he will see what to do and he hanged up.
When they called later, the call was picked by a lady, she told them that the doctor is not in.
As the condition was worsening, the following day they went back to the hospital.
An x-ray showed a foreign material inside the arm, huge part of Kwambokas flesh had rotten, and she was slowly losing her arm.
Through an operation part of the flesh was removed, leaving her with a trench-like hole in her arm one could easily see bones in a stretch of ten centimetres.
Three weeks now Kwamboka is still at the hospital, her fate is yet to be known.
However, she told the star that an inside source has warned her not to accept any drug from the facility as there are plans to assassinate her to conceal evidence of the aftermath.
“For any injection, I have to buy the drugs my self, I was warned of plans that I might be assassinated to conceal evidence,” she said in tears.
Kwambokas case is among many other cases which some goes unreported.
Wekulo revealed that it was out of ignorance that she opted for a shortcut.
“I didn’t know the right channel to follow, and this being a staff at the facility I trusted him, I knew I had been done a favour,”
He said he was told by Wafula that he is doing him a favour as the right channel would have cost him Sh15000.
In February another patient was almost defrauded Sh10000 by a staff at the hospital through back door in a procedure that was to cost him Sh3000.
It was a case of a child who had swallowed a twenty shillings coin.
It took the intervention of the media, who forwarded the issue to the management.
A month down the same subordinate staff Abigail Asemwa who has been known to be notorious for defrauding patients is still at the same department of inpatients and no disciplinary action has been taken by the management.
The star established that the lady positions herself strategically waiting for patients at the facility.
She then corners them and asks them to say if asked by anybody that they are related.
Only for her to ask them for money double the normal price claiming that the doctors need it as a service fee.
A source within the hospital alluded that laxity by the management has led to an increase in this cases.
Speaking in his office at the hospital, Medical superintended Emanuel Wanjala said that the investigations into Kwambokas case has started and disciplinary action will be taken against the medic.
He, however, faulted Kwamboka for not informing the doctors of the foreign material that was left inside her the second time she went to the hospital.
“She knew the foreign material was stitched inside her, yet she never informed the doctors until the situation got worse,” he said.