Family blames KNH for death of 16-year-old daughter

Hospital says Form 3 student had enough oxygen concentration when she was taken to the facility

In Summary

'They instead insisted that the child be taken for VCT. When I asked why the doctor told me it is the policy that everyone should go through VCT'

The accident and emergency unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital
NO WRONG DONE? The accident and emergency unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital
Image: FILE


The family of Peter Kanyata is blaming doctors at the Kenyatta National Hospital for negligence following the death of their teenage daughter at the facility on Sunday morning.

Joyce Wayo, 16, died at KNH where she was rushed on Saturday night with breathing complications.

Kanyata says doctors at the hospital did not attend to her daughter with the emergency that was required to save her life.

KNH has denied the claims.

Wayo was a Form 3 student at Kamacharia High School in Murang’a. The school called her father n Saturday saying she was unwell and needed medical attention.

Kanyata, who resides in Umoja estate in Nairobi, received a call and left immediately.

"We have been taking her to Mama Lucy Hospital and when she went back to school, she got overwhelmed and so we were called,” Kanyata told the Star on the phone on Sunday.

Wayo had been having breathing difficulties for a month. She had reported to school n Wednesday for the start of the new year.

“At some point, doctors at Mama Lucy Hospital told us the disease could not be identified and referred us to Mathari Mental Hospital, saying the problem was to do with the brain and was associated with adolescent growth and development,” Kanyata said.

They went to Mathari but were again referred to Kenyatta National Hospital.

Kanyata said they got to KNH at about 10.30pm, their daughter unable to breathe. According to the father, she was emitting a thick substance from her mouth.

“When we got to KNH, I told them the child needed oxygen immediately but they had taken the card and we were told to wait for a call. We waited and waited.”

When their turn came, the doctors paced Wayo on a stretcher to take her to room 2 as was directed. But the story changed.

“They instead insisted that the child be taken for VCT. When I asked why the doctor told me it is the policy that everyone should go through VCT,” Kanyata said.

 “The child was not breathing, we begged the doctor who agreed to take the child to room 2. But still we sat there for too long. I asked the nurses if the child could get help because she was suffering.”

By 2.30am, Wayo had not yet been put on oxygen despite struggling to breathe, Kanyata said.

“I was pleading with the doctors. Then a doctor finally came and demanded that the child’s mother gives an explanation but I decided to do the explanation very fast because of the suffering of my daughter.” 

The mother too gave her explanation as demanded by the doctor. At that time the situation had worsened.

Wayo was then hurriedly put on oxygen with her legs tied with ropes and hands held. They tried to resuscitate her but the effort came when it was too late, the father said.

“The doctors even tried drawing blood from her but none was coming out. That was an indicator that the child had already left us.”

He immediately reported the matter to the police station located within the hospital.

The hospital’s corporate communications manager Hezekiah Gikambi told the Star that he was aware of the case. Gikambi dismissed claims that there was negligence on the part of the hospital.

“I have even talked to the doctor who was in charge and seen the file and for sure the girl was well attended to and even the doctors tried to resuscitate her,” Gikambi said.

He added, “We are sorry for the loss of the child and we know those are some of the strategies of grieving, but the file is on the director’s desk and he will give direction on the matter tomorrow (Monday)."

Gikambi said that the girl’s oxygen levels were at 97 per cent when she was taken to the hospital. That, he said, was enough concentration that didn’t warrant her being put on oxygen.


edited by p.o