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City Mortuary shifts blame in Pumwani twin babies puzzle

City Mortuary officials are engaged in a blame game with Pumwani Maternity Hospital management over claims that a postmortem test was conducted on wrong bodies.

The two sides, which are critical in solving the puzzle of missing twin newborns, on Wednesday appeared before the Senate Health Committee, which is investigating whether the babies were born alive or dead.

Mr Dedan Kimathi and his wife Jacinta Wanjiku accuse the hospital of swapping their babies with dead ones, but the hospital has maintained it was a case of stillbirths.

A DNA report indicated that the bodies given to the parents were not of twins and were not related to the couple.

The maternity hospital’s officials told the committee that they took the right bodies to City Mortuary for a postmortem examination and the mortuary officials should explain what happened to the corpses under their custody.

Ms Betty Kairu said the bodies were labelled when they arrived but unlike with other bodies, the sealed carton that contained them had an instruction that they should not be decomposed.

“We did not open the carton because we were told there were issues. This was the same carton presented for postmortem,” MsKairu told the committee chaired by Dr Mohammed Kuti (Isiolo, URP).

BODIES NOT LABELLED

Members present included Dr Wilfred Machage (Migori, ODM), Prof Wilfred Lesan (Bomet, URP), Mrs Beth Mugo (Nominated, TNA), Ms MvitaMshenga (Nominated, URP), Ms Catherine Mukite (Nominated, Ford-K) and Ms Godliver Omondi (Nominated, ODM).

Ms Kairu revealed that besides Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor, two doctors representing Pumwani were in the postmortem examination room when she opened the box to remove the bodies.

However, Dr Beth Maina, a senior pediatrician at the hospital, openly disagreed with MsKairu’s assertion, prompting Dr Kuti to intervene.

“We were called after the bodies had been placed on the table,” Dr Maina told the committee, whose members have a medical background.

The hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Omondi Kumba, said it was wrong for the pathologist and mortuary attendants to undertake a postmortem test on bodies that were not labelled.

Dr Kumba said the work of the two doctors he sent from the hospital to witness the procedure was not to positively identify the bodies.