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City Hall officials contradict Sonko, say Pumwani staff not negligent

Nairobi County Health Executive Veska Kangongo, who led a team to the hospital, says circumstances under which the deaths occurred cannot be blamed on anyone/MOSES MUOKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – Nairobi County officials have contradicted Governor Mike Sonko on the cause of infant deaths at Pumwani Maternity Hospital and defended the management against negligence claims.

Nairobi County Health Executive Veska Kangongo, who led a team to the hospital, says circumstances under which the deaths occurred cannot be blamed on anyone.

“I would like to state that the deaths have occurred from operations that are normal to health and this being a referral maternity hospital such cases are expected because most of mothers who come here have complications,” she said.

This is in sharp contrast to assertions by Sonko that the hospital management, which he suspended on Monday, is to blame after finding 12 bodies stashed in boxes during an impromptu visit.

Nairobi Chief Officer Mahat Jimal also defended the management saying the deaths were a result of still births and other related complications, while one had been taken there by the mother for safe disposal.

“I want to demystify the myth that Pumwani Hospital has a number of unaccounted bodies. The truth of the fact is the deaths that were confirmed on Monday we can entirely account for each and every child with tagging and notification of death,” said Jimal.

It was confirmed that Pumwani Maternity Hospital does not have a morgue but a holding room where bodies are kept before being taken to the City Mortuary.

The hospital management however remains suspended amid an investigation by a multi-agency team from the DCI, Health Ministry and the county to determine if they were culpable and recommend the way forward.

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