I am Angry, Khaniri Tells Otichillo following the death of Annette

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Vihiga Senator George Khaniri has expressed his anger towards the medical staff at Vihiga County referral hospital following the death of Annette Kabarika.

In a statement issued at the senate, Khaniri stated that he was angry as his efforts to fight for timely funding to the county government seems not to be put to proper use.

”The Governor of Vihiga County should be informed that the Senate which fights to protect devolution by ensuring adequate and timely funding to the counties is angry, I am angry’

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Khaniri went further to request the governor to ensure that those behind the unfortunate death of Annette are disciplined

”What happened to the late Annette in the two hospitals is murder in broad daylight and the criminal justice system must be involved in bringing all culprits to justice,” he added.

Here is the full statement.

STATEMENT ON AN ISSUE OF GENERAL TOPICAL CONCERN ON THE DEATH OF MS. ANNETTE KABARIKA AT VIHIGA COUNTY REFERRAL HOSPITAL ON MONDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 2019 AS A RESULT OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE.

Mr Speaker Sir,

Pursuant to standing orders 47 (1), I rise to make a statement on an issue of general topical concern, namely; the death of Ms. Annette Kabarika at Vihiga County Referral Hospital on Monday 16th September 2019 as a result of medical negligence.

Honourable Speaker,

Before I proceed further, I take this opportunity to pass condolences on my own behalf, family and the people of Vihiga County, to the family of Annette Kabarika. Annette was a young lively lady, twenty-two years of age from Gimarakwa village, Hamisi Sub-county. I have watched painfully the video of this young lady wreathing in pain on the floor of a private hospital pleading to be taken to a government hospital where she believed she would get better service. I have also watched the mother on national television describing how she spent thirty agonizing hours with her daughter in Vihiga County Referral Hospital waiting for medics to attend to her until she passed on. The treatment the late Annette got from the two hospitals, highlight how inhuman our healthcare providers have become.

Honourable Speaker,

Article 43 (1) (a) of the Constitution clearly stipulates that “Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care”. Article 43(b) further states that “A person shall not be denied emergency medical treatment”. It is undisputed that health is a fundamental human right that all Kenyans are entitled to. I condemn all the medical practitioners and healthcare facilities that denied Annette medical care. She did not deserve to die in the circumstances she did. It is a shame and indictment to the whole department of health in Vihiga County and an Executive that is working overtime to absolve the hospital of any blame through tweets in the social media from the governor’s official handle, and the Director of communication, and half-truths from both the County Executive Committee Member for Health and his chief officer.

Honourable Speaker,

According to the Vihiga County Executive Committee Member for Health Services, Miss Annette Kabarika was admitted in the hospital at 9:00 PM on Saturday, 14th September 2019 and succumbed to her injuries at 3:00 AM on Monday 16th September 2019. There is no information on the real cause of death even from the CECM for Health.

Honourable Speaker,

The mother of the deceased lady has confessed that hospital attendant at Vihiga County Referral Hospital demanded Ksh 4,500/= before they could perform a CT scan on her, money she did not have at that instance. The Mother managed to raise Kenya Shillings 2,000/= she offered the attendants the cash but they flatly refused to neither take the money nor offer Annette medical attention-demanding for the full amount. All this while her daughter was in pain, suffering, inside a government hospital and there was nothing she could do to alleviate her suffering.

Honourable Speaker,

Such incidences distort the intention of devolution. We are all aware of the Sh38 billion Medical Equipment Service which provided Vihiga County Referral Hospital with a CT scan among other medical equipment. The Kenya Government has also partnered with the Cuban government to provide specialists in all the 47 counties. As a country we have prioritized Universal Healthcare as one of the pillars of development. In the financial year 2018/2019 the Vihiga County Department of Health received a total of Ksh. one billion, five hundred and fifteen million, sixty-three thousand, four hundred and seventy (1,515,063,470/=), the highest allocation to a department in the county. In addition, the county has also recently hired medical staff. With all this investment, how can one die begging for medical care?

Honourable Speaker,

There are numerous such cases that happen not only in Vihiga County but also throughout the country. The practice where doctors have private medical clinics next to government hospitals is widespread. While the doctors will always be unavailable in their primary duty stations, patients are always referred and treated in these clinics with the same doctors at outrageous costs. This is wrong, inhuman and must be condemned; the Ministry of Health should take action.

Honourable Speaker,

Nobody ever invites injury, sickness and disease. People are suffering in homes yet there are government hospitals that have been turned to conduits of siphoning public funds. People are dying from common illness such as malaria,, pneumonia, and other treatable illnesses because they cannot afford treatment at government hospitals. In fact, government hospitals subject patients to more suffering than relief from their health complains, and as a result, great percentage of the population prefer herbal medicine. In light of this, plans to roll out universal health across the country care is dead on arrival.

Honourable Speaker,

It is time hospitals and medics are held responsible for medical negligence not only through reprimands, suspensions and sackings but also through prosecution in a court of law. What happened to the late Annete in the two hospitals is murder in broad daylight and the criminal justice system must be involved in bringing all culprits to justice. The practice of demanding payment before offering emergency medical service is both inhuman and unlawful.

The Governor of Vihiga County should be informed that the Senate which fights to protect devolution by ensuring adequate and timely funding to the counties is angry, I am angry, Kenyans are angry and the least he can do is to institute disciplinary action on concerned staff. Truly these are not caregivers as it would be expected of a hospital. This young girl did not deserve to die the way she did in a county referral hospital.

I thank you.

SEN. GEORGE KHANIRI, MGH, MP
SENATOR FOR VIHIGA COUNTY
25.09.2019

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