Pumwani babies not related, says expert
The mystery surrounding the babies said to have been born dead at Nairobi’s Pumwani Maternity Hospital deepened on Wednesday, when it emerged they were not related.
Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor and Government Chemist officers told the Senate Health Committee that the DNA results had confirmed the babies were not related.
“These were not identical twins. They were not related, implying they had different parents,” Dr Joseph Kimani, an Assistant Government Chemist told the committee.
The committee also heard that the children did not belong to Mr Dedan Kimathi and his wife Jacinta Wanjiku, who have accused the hospital of swapping their twins with the dead babies.
Ms Wanjiku insists she heard one of the babies cry, but the hospital says it could have been another child in the maternity ward.
Dr Kimani, who was accompanied by acting Government Chemist Leonard Waweru Kariuki, said the DNA sample were submitted by an officer from Shauri Moyo Police Station.
Dr Kimani said they asked for nail clippings from each baby to increase the accuracy of the analysis as they feared the use of formalin to preserve bodies can affect results.
Senate Committee Chairman Mohamed Kuti faulted Dr Oduor for not waiting for the DNA test report before conducting a postmortem exam.
“What is the standard procedure when there is an identity doubt? Is the DNA done before or after the postmortem?” Dr Kuti asked.
BODIES WERE FRESH
“You did the postmortem when the bodies were fresh and appeared pink contrary to a report by the hospital that they were macerated?”
Dr Oduor explained that though there was no objection before the postmortem, he took samples for histology examinations and DNA tests because he had noted there was a dispute.
He said this was after he noted that the explanation from the parents and two doctors did not tally with his observations.
“Initially, I didn’t have any doubt about the identity of the bodies. I thought the babies were born dead and the parents were raising issues. But then, the DNA results came out differently,” said Dr Oduor.
The committee will also meet City Mortuary officials as it seeks to establish who between the hospital and the parents is telling the truth.
County Chief Medical Officer Robert Ayisi and Hospital Superintendent Omondi Kumba have blamed City Mortuary for the DNA tests on the two corpses.