“All my cousin needed was stability” -Impunity in Mbagathi Hospital


By Khalifa Evans Jambo

Why do I hold her👇👇👇entirely responsible… why my bitterness…. why do I feel she ain’t fit being a medic….why do I feel she should probably be some socialite…..why do I feel it ain’t about our hospitals, it’s all about some Medical Practitioners………..just confirmed, her name, Lynnet Wambuta…..

Lynette Wambuta, the Medical Officer of Mbagathi Hospital
                               8 HOURS

Am dead asleep, my phone rings multiple times, my feel is that it’s a dream, half awake, I stretch my hand to pick my phone, it’s real, incoming call, upon checking it’s my in law’s number, my cousin’s wife, then the call is terminated. Am forced to check the time, it’s 04:23hrs. Being odd hours, am concerned what the problem could be, I decided to call back. My in law receives then tells me “Bena anataka kukuongelesha”, I told her to hand the phone over to him. My cousin talks but in bits, as if seriously struggling to breath, ” maze bro niko mbaya, nimelemewa, sioni nikitoboa, nagive up maze”, am forced to interrupt, “kwani unafeel aje? Ulienda hosi”…. He then tells me he went earlier, to Coptic Hospital, was attended to, unfortunately the illness worsened at night. I then asked what he was diagnosed of, he told me pneumonia and Tuberculosis, am forced to tell him to relax, I’ll be at their place first thing in the morning, probably in two hours time.

 At around 07:00hrs his wife calls again, according to her it was worsening, I told her to get a taxi then meet me at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, Umoja. The time is 09:22hrs, we met, sorted out the taxi guy then proceeded with registration processes, we then went straight to emergency wing. Here upon enquiring they told us they dont have isolated wards for TB patients, their advice was that we go straight to Mbagathi District Hospital. It’s now 10:18hrs, my time accuracy drawn from the calls I made during this specific hours. We left having a referral letter at 10:32hrs, I had just spoken to my cousin’s mum, my aunt. 

On our way, my cousin kept asking for water, an indication of dehydration, unfortunately we couldn’t stop, upon approaching Nyayo Stadium a guy comes hawking bananas, he says he wants, I bought him two while promising to buy him water later, he ate so fast, we arrived at Mbagathi at exactly 11:42hrs, I rushed at casualty, explained my case to a seemingly old nurse, they called her Karimi, she had declined telling me they only handle such cases during weekdays, had to explain to her it was an emergency, that my cousin was critically sick.

 She then told me to get a wheelchair then transfer him to one of the beds. I did just that, it’s now around five minutes to twelve noon. Next to the bed there’s a seemingly young lady, a Medical Officer, now confirmed. She dint show any attention to our patient, an act that pushed me into looking for the nurse I had spoken to earlier. The nurse was outside doing a BP check on another patient, I told her my patient was already in bed. She responded by telling me she’s attending to him shortly. I then left to buy water, at 12:03, the exact time I checked in on Fb “at Mbagathi District Hospital”. My in law was still with her husband, I came back, she was receiving a call from the last born brother to my cousin.

 The young Clinical Officer was now free, the nurse I had talked to earlier was nowhere to be seen. I approached the Medical Officer, told her our problem, she asked for the referral letter, tried handing over to her but she just told me to open it up so she could read while am holding it, I did just that then told her “this is a critical case, please check on him”, her response was, ” it’s not critical ” then she walked away to the next room, sat down, started writing some things on a certain file while going through her phone. I followed her, asked her plans on our patient, she never responded but clearly heard me, the old nurse was now back, seated next to her drafting a certain paper as well, I approached her then asked regarding my patient, without looking at me she asked out loudly, “doc umeangalia huyo mgonjwa”…. The young lady said ” ako sawa, nitamshugulikia baadaye”, it’s now around 12:42hrs, am desperately trying to remind them, I then received a call from my cousin, their second born brother asking about the situation, I told him was still pushing for him to be attended to, it’s now 12:49hrs, am forced to ask again any plans to check on my patient. 

Up to this moment I hadn’t in any way revealed that am in medical practice as well, I learnt to keep such within me, at exactly 12:53hrs my cousin’s wife comes telling me Ben isn’t responding as she tried calling him. I looked at the young medical officer, at this point she also looked back at me, I then accompanied my in law to check on my cousin. Tried feeling his pulse, he was gone. I went back to the two ladies, focused on the MO who had rubbished my statement regarding my cousin’s case being critical, told her in a firm voice, “I told you but you rubbished my statement, now please go confirm”, I went on to tell her ” am entirely holding you responsible “, by now other patients and their relatives had gathered viewing my cousin’s lifeless body, his wife screaming, she went with a stethoscope, confirmed what I had confirmed. 

It was one of my most painful moments, that’s when I took her photo as she turned and told her am not letting this go, she walked away like nothing had happened, took her phone from her pocket then made a call, people were now shouting at her accusing her of negligence since they had all witnessed. A security guard then walked in, handed over a phone to me, of course I knew what to expect, it was the medical superintendent, by then I had stored one photo on vault while updating one on Facebook. 

The voice from the other end spoke rudely, it was a ” typical luo accent” speaking English, please don’t pull in tribal aspect on this, his question so arrogantly, “so you’re the idiot disturbing my staff, do you know the person you’re messing up with, do you know who that Lady is”???…..another guard then came in, grabbed my phone then told me to show him the photo{s} I had taken. I went to my gallery, showed him the only remaining photo, I then deleted it, what a fool he was, called the medical superintendent boasting of having completed the job. Be the judge, am I wrong holding the lady responsible since as earlier stated, a few seconds of maximum attention to a patient can save a life…..provided it’s timely….all my cousin needed was return to stability……… One male doctor went ahead to tell me honestly your patient would have been saved had it been taken up immediately…. Be the judge…….

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