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Voi hospital accused of neglecting pregnant mum



A family in Taita Taveta county has accused Moi County Referral Hospital, Voi, of negligence and incompetence following the death of a woman on Wednesday while giving birth.

The family of Fatuma Mugambi said the woman had a stillbirth as a result of prolonged labour.

According to the family, the doctors could not operate on Mugambi due to an electrical fault that had grounded operations at the facility.

The hospital has been experiencing power shortage since Saturday and its backup generator failed to work due to faulty lines.

This contributed to the failure of the hospital to operate the theatres and other emergency departments.

However, County Health executive Frank Mwangemi refuted claims of medical negligence.

Mwangemi told the Star that the woman had complications and had been attending a clinic at Bughuta Dispensary.

“Despite her complication, she hadn’t bothered to seek gynecological services at our referral hospital. She succumbed moments after she was brought to Moi Hospital,” Mwangemi said.

He said the Fatuma had previously delivered through C-section and therefore required close monitoring.

The executive urged expectant mothers to regularly attend clinic sessions.

“Postmortem results revealed she died from prolonged labour,” Mwangemi said.

When asked about the power fault, the county official admitted the referral facility had experienced a power blackout since Saturday, last week.

However, he refuted the claims that Fatuma’s death was caused by the blackout.

“The Kenya Power technician established that the automatic power interchange and power surge protector had blown off. We have been working on repairs since then and power has been restored in some areas of the hospital,” Mwangemi said.

Details of Fatuma’s death emerged during an impromptu visit of Taita Taveta woman representative Lydia Haika at the facility.

Haika had gone to assess the situation at the hospital following a public outcry over poor services with reports that at least five women had died while giving birth in January alone.

“Why admit patients when you know the hospital is incapacitated? Her life could have been saved if the facility administration had acted on time,” Haika said.

She urged authorities to investigate cases of medical negligence and take disciplinary actions should on those found guilty.

But Mwangemi defended the hospital management, noting that there is a staff shortage.

He said the hospital has increased its operations from 45 per cent to 95 per cent in the last five years creating the need to hire more staff.

Read also: Taita Taveta county suspends study leaves for health workers

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