Family's anguish as mission hospital turns away six-year-old girl shot in bandit attack

Police officers along Mukutani- Marigat road escorting residents evacuated to a safer place at Mukutani area in Baringo south on March 15,2017.Pokot raiders attacked the village killing 9 people Photo: Joseph Kipsang

A six-year-old girl with serious gunshot injuries was turned away from a private hospital when her parents failed to raise the Sh20,000 admission fee.

Senteiyo Kateiya lay in deep pain for one-and-a-half hours inside an ambulance at St Mary's Hospital as Red Cross officials and relatives pleaded with hospital administrators to admit her.

Kateiya, a nursery school pupil at Mukutani Primary School, survived an attack in which 11 people were killed when suspected members of the Pokot community attacked homes belonging to members of the Ilchamus community on Tuesday night.

According to her uncle, Benjamin Parkitore, doctors and nurses at the hospital watched her writhe in pain because the family could not raise Sh20,000.

Mr Parkitore said they pleaded with the hospital managers from 11am to 12pm.

Red Cross officials who accompanied the girl in their ambulance later took her to the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital in Nakuru.

"I am grateful that my niece is in the hands of doctors despite the frustration we faced at the private hospital," said Parkitore as he held Kateiya's hands.

EMERGENCY DESK

When contacted, St Mary's Hospital administrator Seth Manera admitted that the patient arrived at the emergency desk and her guardian was asked to pay a Sh20,000 deposit.

He said the guardian then opted to take the girl to another hospital.

He said according to the nursing officer who received the girl, she was stable and did not require any emergency attention.

"The case was not an emergency," said Mr Manera.

He said according to the hospital's procedures, patients are required to pay cash deposits before being taken in for further observation.

He said emergency cases were admitted first and later required to pay treatment fees.

The administrator said that as a private hospital, St Mary's always insisted on patients paying a given percentage of fees before admission.

Doctors at Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital said the girl sustained serious head and chest injuries.

When The Standard team visited the hospital, Kateiya was restless and in pain. She was crying and complained of a headache.

She kept asking her uncle where her older siblings and her mother were. The family was hiding inside the house when the attackers sprayed it with bullets.

Parkitore said by yesterday, they had not traced Kateiya's mother, her friend and four other children who were in the house when they were attacked.


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