Date: 20 January 2017 08:06
A 26-year-old woman who lost her unborn child due to prolonged labour that lasted for over 24 hours after she was turned away from more than 10 hospitals in the Coast due to the ongoing doctors’ strike is fighting for her life at the Coast General Provincial Hospital’s intensive care unit in Mombasa.
Saumu Sidi, from Kaloleni, Kilifi County lost her unborn child on Tuesday.
However, the stillborn baby was removed two days later due to lack of a doctor to attend to her and the situation has affected her health.
Her elder brother, Francis Charo Menza said they visited different private and public hospitals in Kilifi and Mombasa counties using a tuk tuk in search of a doctor.
But they were turned away as they could not raise the deposit required by private hospitals while there were no doctors in public hospitals.
“We later took her to Mabatini Hospital where nurses told us they could not help her because her condition needed doctors.
“That’s when we decided to go to Mombasa. We took her to Ziwa la Ng’ombe and Mlaleo dispensaries but there were no doctors.
“We went to four private other hospitals but we were told to pay a deposit of Sh120,000. We did not have that cash so we decided to leave,” he said.
Mr Menza said they decided to take Sidi home to give birth there with the help of traditional birth attendants.
“But all this while her labour had intensified. She was writhing in pain. Neighbours in Bombolulu tried helping her give birth but [they were unable to]. Little did we know that her unborn baby had already died two days before,” he added.
According to her documents, Ms Sidi had previously delivered through caesarean section.
Her brother urged the government to end the doctors’ strike saying majority of Kenyans are suffering.
“It is much better when teachers strike but doctors should never strike, they save lives. My sister is in [the] ICU and she can’t talk. Her condition is very bad, she cannot talk or hear anything but we are grateful doctors saved her,” he added.
He said private hospitals are taking advantage of the health crisis in public hospitals to overcharge patients.
Mombasa County health officials declined to comment on the matter.
However, Dr Musimbi Soita, a consultant gynaecologist at Pwani Gyno Centre, said Sidi might have lost her child through prolonged labour.
Services at the Coast General Provincial Hospital, the largest in the region are at a standstill due to the ongoing strike.
However, a few doctors are helping patients.