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June 13, 2024
Kampala Daily
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21-Year-Old Woman Flees, Leaving 9-Month-Old Child In Hospital Due To Unpaid Bill

A 21-year-old woman in Nakuru County left her nine-month-old child in the hospital and fled after failing to pay a bill of Sh670,000.

Ms. Mary Wangui was admitted to the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital on March 11, where she underwent surgery.

“I was one month pregnant and had to go to the hospital with my daughter because there was no one to leave her with at home. The evening I was admitted, her father took her home, but she cried all night, and he had to bring her back in the morning, so that’s how I lived with my daughter in the hospital,” she recounted.

After the successful surgery, Ms. Wangui was hospitalized for three weeks to recover. Despite the family rejoicing at her recovery, they were burdened by a bill of Sh23,000, an amount they could not afford to pay.

The family tried to seek assistance from friends and relatives but couldn’t raise the money to settle the accumulating bill. That’s when Ms. Wangui made the decision to leave her nine-month-old child at the hospital.

She fled at seven in the morning when other patients were being visited by their relatives and was assisted by friends to get home. Her husband, who had no money to pay the bill, was surprised to see her gone.

Ms. Wangui told Taifa Leo in an interview that she made the decision after her plea to the hospital social workers to reduce or waive the bill was rejected.

Their financial situation worsened, and they couldn’t pay the rent for their house, which had accumulated four months’ arrears. Her husband’s income from selling bananas had decreased.

“I pleaded with the social workers to help me negotiate with the management to reduce or waive the bill, but they told me it was impossible. We have no money, my husband is a banana vendor, and what he earns from selling bananas is not enough,” she said.

The child was taken to a children’s home until the bill is settled, leaving the family distressed.

The incident was reported at the small police station near the Nakuru Agricultural Showground.

Dr. James Waweru, the administrator of the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital, said that the hospital took appropriate measures to safeguard the interests of the child and that the case is now in the hands of the child department.

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