A distraught family in Kanamkemer Village in Lodwar, Turkana County, has written to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council to urgently look into the death of its kin, a minor who reports say died due to medical negligence.
On Friday, June 2, seven-year-old Leticia Adipo was taken by her grandfather, Pastor William Emase, to the Equity Afia Clinic in Kanamkemer, Lodwar, for what he thought would be a pre-emptive diagnosis – earlier that morning, Leticia had suffered a mild nose bleed. And apart from a niggling boil on her forehead, she was in good health and great spirit, even playing as they waited to be attended to.
After explaining their predicament, a “pharmacist” at the facility advised Pastor Emase to purchase a 10ml bottle of Sterile Potassium Chloride Concentrate from their pharmacy, which a nurse then injected, undiluted, into Leticia; the nurse didn’t bother to consult, observe, or properly diagnose her.
Soon after she was injected, Leticia immediately collapsed. This is the scene Leticia’s mother, who had just arrived at the clinic and held her daughter down for the injection witnessed. She raised the alarm, but the “nurse” casually advised her to “relax” as the child was “only resting” from the effects of the drug. Leticia was confirmed dead minutes later.
A post-mortem was conducted on June 5, and samples collected for further analysis in Kisumu but preliminary investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) at Lodwar, which the Nairobi Law Monthly is privy to, confirm that the deceased was the victim of a dangerous drug wrongly administered.
In a letter by SM&M Advocates, acting for the family, the family has appealed to the KMPDU to investigate the affairs of the facility per Section 20 of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act Cap 20 to determine its registration status and that of its personnel, including those who attended to the deceased immediately before her death. Moreover, the family has lodged a formal complaint against Equity Afia in Lodwar and its proprietors for how they handled Leticia, causing her untimely demise.
“The potency of Sterile Potassium Chloride Concentrate is well documented: add to the instances of medical negligence referenced supra, there is little doubt as to the cause of death,” the letter reads.
“That the minor was injected with Potassium Chloride Concentrate is not in doubt. This can also be confirmed from the statements that the responsible persons have recorded with the DCI and CCTV footage obtained from the facility,” said Shadrack Muyesu, the managing partner at SM&M Advocates.
Preliminary investigations by the DCI at Lodwar reveal a clinic in a sorry state, operating without valid operational licenses and ill-prepared to handle patients. It has also emerged that the nurse who attended to the deceased is unlicensed, as he is still a student at Kenya Medical Training College.
“It’s our prayer that you can liaise with DCI Lodwar (to whom we have copied this email), review this evidence, and confirm what prima facie is a case of gross negligence. Similar allegations have been made against the same hospital in the past,” Mr Muyesu said.