Govt offers to pay for infant amputation

August 7, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, August 7 – The government has said that it will bear the cost of amputating the foot of a six-month-old baby girl who developed complications while undergoing treatment at the Coast General Hospital.

Medical Services Assistant Minister Danson Mungatana said Thursday that the government had already made the necessary arrangements for baby Rose Mwaka’s treatment.

“If the parents are uncomfortable with the carrying out of that procedure at the Coast General Hospital, we have made arrangements for the baby and the parents to be airlifted to have the procedure done at the Kenyatta National Hospital,” the Assistant Minister stated.

“The Minister responsible for Children’s Affairs Esther Murugi has also made another offer for the procedure to be carried out at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital.” 

Mungatana however said that Baby Mwaka’s parents had gone underground despite the baby requiring urgent amputation to avert further wastage of the infected foot and even ultimate death.

“I am making an appeal to the parents of the child to please avail themselves for two purposes. First of all they need to formalise the complaint against any of the medical staff that were involved and secondly, we have obtained a preliminary report that seems to suggest that there was a proper diagnosis, so there is need to have the amputation done.”

The Coast General Hospital had earlier obtained a court order to compel the father of the child to consent to the amputation, but he refused to acknowledge and opted for a discharge, which was allowed after he signed a discharge against medical advice note.

The Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board has now been directed to investigate whether there was any malpractice in the management of the illness and give a report by the end of this month.

Baby Mwaka was admitted to Coast General in mid July with a fever, diarrhoea and vomiting, and a working diagnosis of gastroenteritis malaria with pneumonia was made.

An IV drip line was put in the child’s left foot to enable the administration of the anti-malarial drug quinine and anti-pneumonia drugs, but a few days later the limb started swelling and changing colour.

Baby Mwaka then developed a condition known as gangrene, which started from the little toe and later progressed upwards, prompting the surgical team to recommend amputation.  


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