By Angela Sang—
In the recent past, Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has become a home of scandals. Just a couple of weeks ago, our screens were hit by a horror story of breastfeeding mothers being raped by staff at the hospital. It all began with a Facebook post which alleged that new mothers were being raped by unknown persons as they went to breastfeed their newborns. The post elicited myriad confessions on social media with most mothers claiming that the happenings had been going on for a while. These allegations led to a public outcry coupled with demands for the resignation of senior staff at the hospital. Days later KNH was in the headlines again for the wrong reasons. This time around a three-week-old baby was stolen after he had been left with an unidentified woman as the father of the baby followed up on the treatment of his wife. The baby would later be found in Kawangware, Nairobi after the father was tipped by a neighbour about the baby’s whereabouts.
These scandals culminated into last week’s shocking and embarrassing blunder whereby a doctor performed brain surgery on the wrong patient. The mishap occurred due to swapping of identification tags of two patients. Last week’s events have seen KNH CEO, Lily Koros including other surgery staff suspended to pave way for investigations.
A serious scrutiny into the mushrooming scandals at KNH indicates that there may be foul play at hand. Indeed there’s more than meets the eye. First, the rape story that led to a huge backlash by members of the public did not live to see the light of day as no victim came out to testify on the allegations when called upon by the Director of Criminal Investigation and the Parliamentary committees. It’s also unimaginable how such complaints had never reached the police for such a long time. This might suffice as evidence that persons with unknown motives might have decided to peddle the rape rumour. Secondly, there have been claims that the whole baby stealing story might have been stage-managed. It’s questionable for instance how a sane person would decide to leave his child with an unknown person for hours on end. In any case, any reasonable man knows it would be wrong to blame the hospital for one’s reckless actions.
An investigation is yet to be done as regards the operation on the wrong patient. Meanwhile, South Rift MPs and various women representatives have come out strongly in defence of KNH’s former CEO, Lily Koros. They claim that cartels want her out since she has refused to bow to their whims. The MPs have termed the scandals as a move that’s well choreographed in a bid to oust the former CEO who is said to be a hard nut to crack and has refused to dance to the tune of cartels who want to milk money from various projects at KNH. Speaking in the post-election seminar for Members of National Assembly in Mombasa, the MPs argued that the Health CS, Sicily Kariuki, had no power to direct the KNH board members to send Lily Koros on compulsory leave
In light of the aforesaid, it is trite to state that there may need to delve deeper into the happenings at KNH before castigating any persons. Perhaps, it was also necessary to give the former CEO a chance of fair hearing before taking any adverse actions against her as dictated by the rules of Natural Justice.