NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Chief government pathologist Johanssen Oduor has admitted to conducting postmortem on the wrong bodies in relation to the case of the Pumwani Maternity Hospital missing twins’ saga.
Oduor who appeared before the Senate Health Committee said the bodies he conducted postmortem on were not labeled and were fresh contrary to the hospitals’ report indicating that the twins’ bodies were macerated.
The twins’ parents have accused Pumwani of swapping their babies and claiming the mother had a still birth.
“So in your own opinion you actually did the postmortem on the wrong body?” asked Wilfred Machage.
“Yes, yes, you can say I did postmortem on the wrong bodies,” affirmed Oduor.
The postmortem report tabled by Oduor indicated that the findings were consistent with live birth and the DNA did not match that of the parents and neither did it match that of the alleged twin.
When questioned over why he went ahead to perform the procedure on bodies that were subject to dispute, he said he was not alarmed by the inconsistencies as it was conducted in the presence of two doctors from Pumwani who did not raise an alarm over the contradicting state of the bodies.
“I didn’t know which parties were saying the truth, so I decided to do DNA,”said Oduor.
Johansen told the committee that a postmortem exam was initially scheduled to be performed by another pathologist, Dorothy Njeru but there was no representative from Pumwani Maternity hospital forcing the procedure to be postponed.
He disclosed that the bodies had even been brought out and put on the operation table but were returned to the storage unit following the postponement.
It was this statement that raised the question of whose bodies these were and where were the ones purportedly brought by the Pumwani maternity hospital.
In the wake of the revelations, the committee members resolved to summon the morgue attendant at the City mortuary who presented the bodies to the first pathologist who was to conduct the initial postmortem and the Pumwani official who packed the bodies for delivery to the city mortuary.
Also presenting their testimonies were two interns who assisted the mother in delivering the babies.
Jackline Ndung’u told the committee that she delivered the first baby with assistance from a nurse and when they saw that the baby was still born, she rushed to call the doctor leaving the baby with the mother. When she came back, the second baby was born after about three minutes also dead.
Her counterpart Olivia said she was left behind when both the nurse and Ndung’u went to call the doctor because the first baby was macerated (skin peeled off indicating baby could have stayed dead in the stomach for days).
Senator Beth Mugo was taken aback by the fact that the mother who was in the process of delivering the second baby was left alone as both the nurse and the students left to call the doctor, urging the hospital to review its procedure to ensure that at no time would a mother in labour be left without assistance.
The Pumwani maternity medical superintendent Omondi Kumba decried the shortage of staff in the institution which is the largest maternity hospital within the region with over 60 births per day.
He urged the committee to lobby for additional staff to the institution so as to improve service delivery.
An angry Kumba took a swipe at the media for the publication of the goings-on in the hospital saying,” This is an issue of irresponsible journalism and lying thieving parents.”