Tears as botched child’s vaccination leads to terrible amputation


Angry and disappointed Mr Peter Gitonga and his wife, Ms Leah Waithira are in tears even as they cuddle they newborn after an unexpected operation at Kenya’s biggest referral hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital.

After a vaccination and operations which were marred by negligent medical staff, doctors at KNH were forced to amputate his leg at the ankle and left hand at the wrist after what his parents said was a complication that developed in a botched BCG vaccination.

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Ms Waithira, a first-time mother, delivered the baby by caesarean section at Kihara Hospital in Gachie, Kiambu, on February 7. She was discharged after three days, and says the baby was fine, “since any complications would have been indicated in the discharge sheet”.

But as time went on, the baby showed signs of being unwell and at around 9pm same day, she and her husband rushed him to a local clinic, where they were advised to take him back to the facility where he had been vaccinated.

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Back at Kihara Hospital, the doctors assured them the vaccination could not have caused such complications, and ran some tests on the baby according to Nation.

“The doctor pricked one of the fingers in the left hand but there was no blood. He used the same needle to prick a toe in the right foot, and after the test he informed us that the sugar level was too low, and that the baby was dehydrated. He insisted that the baby be admitted,” a devastated Ms Waithira told the Nation in an interview at their home in Ndenderu village, Kiambaa.

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The doctors said they needed to run tests to establish whether the baby was bleeding internally but before they could do that, he was referred to Kiambu Level Five Hospital for advanced treatment.

The referral sheet, dated February 13, indicated that the baby was diagnosed with “neonatal sepsis”.

At Kiambu Hospital, the couple was immediately referred to Kenyatta National Hospital.

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At KNH, where the baby was treated for one and a half months, the affected hand and foot developed swellings with fluid inside.

After the swellings burst, the hand and foot started rotting, leaving amputation as the only option to prevent the infection from spreading.

Although the doctors tried to convince the couple that the vaccination was not to blame, they believe it is and keep asking why the baby did not develop any problems in his left foot, from which doctors at Kiambu Hospital also drew blood.

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