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Woman says wrong drugs paralysed her

A mother of two is fighting for justice over paralysis due to what she believes was as a result of a wrong prescription.

Caroline Wanjiku, 40, was recently diagnosed with vestibular hypofunction, a condition in which a person experiences disorientation or dizziness due to problems in the ear.

Her troubles, she says, started in 2012 when she visited a clinic in Donholm to get her chest checked for bronchitis or pneumonia.

Complaints dismissed

“Since I worked as a conductor in one of the matatu saccos, I was normally compelled to leave the house by 4am and return late at night so I assumed the cold was the cause of the pains,” she says.

She had visited the health centre on the advice of a neighbour concerned about her health.

Upon screening at the clinic, she was informed she had TB, something she says surprised her.

“Strangely enough, it was a nurse who looked at the X-ray photo and gave me the results. She insisted that I begin medication immediately,” says Ms Wanjiku.

Three days after receiving the first injection, she experienced dizziness which she says the medics claimed was as a result of her weak body.

She could not stand the injections any longer because they made her collapse. She asked the clinic to refer her to Kenyatta National Hospital.

“I realised that something was wrong. Instead of writing a referral letter, they gave me a break,” she says.

At the time, she had completely lost her mobility.

Concerned about her condition, Wanjiku’s neighbours contributed money to take her to KNH. She says she was told she wasn’t suffering from TB.

“I was informed I had vestibular hypofunction,” she says and adds that efforts to to get the clinic in Donholm take responsibility for wrong drug administration have been futile.

She forwarded her case to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) which dismissed her complaints, saying she had intentionally discontinued treatment and had no evidence for misdiagnosis.

“I requested an audience with the board to show them my medical documents but they declined. I have completely lost confidence in them,” says Ms Wanjiku.

She says doctors have told her the damage to her ear is irreversible.