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No help in sight for three-year-old baby with coin in throat

A three-and-a-half-year-old baby in Bamburi has lived with a coin in his throat for two weeks for lack of medical services at public health facilities after doctors boycotted work for the 61st day on Thursday.

Efforts by the parents to seek healthcare services at public hospitals in Mombasa County have not yielded fruit.

The health of Baby Samson Kaingu was quickly deteriorating after he swallowed the shilling coin, which got stuck in his throat, while playing with his mates at a kindergarten.

The child can neither eat solid foods nor pass stool, his father told the Nation.

SWALLOWED COIN

“The baby swallowed the coin on January 18 while playing with his mates at school,” said the boy’s father, Mr Mwangiri Kaingu Chakwe. “The teacher called me and we rushed him to hospital.

“After the X-ray, we confirmed that he had swallowed a coin. Doctors told me to give him fruits such as bananas. I have tried everything in vain.”

According to the X-ray image produced at a private hospital that was seen by the Nation, the coin is stuck in the throat.

Mr Chakwe said he went to Coast General Provincial Hospital, the largest health facility in the region, but was told services such as surgery, maternity and outpatient had been grounded by the doctors’ strike since December 5.

HOSPITAL FEE

He could not raise the Sh60,000 to Sh80,000 that two private hospitals demanded.

“We cannot afford that amount,” said Mr Chakwe. “I am a boda boda rider; I earn around Sh200 a day.

“I am now stuck with my baby, who can’t eat; he only drinks water and milk. He cries all night.”

The child’s mother, Ms Riziki Tsuma, who washes people’s clothes for a living, called upon well-wishers to help the family.

“I had taken my child to school as usual and then went to wash clothes but I was called and told my son had swallowed a coin,” said Ms Tsuma. “It was devastating.”