Kenyan doctors on the spot over rising cases of negligence

The recent case in Kwale where a mother was misdiagnosed for HIV and put on anti-retroviral drugs for three months brings into sharp focus yet again the competence of health practitioners in the country.

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The recent case in Kwale where a mother was misdiagnosed for HIV and put on anti-retroviral drugs for three months ,brings again into focus the competence of health practitioners in the country.

The woman, Esther Mwakazi, 34, and her husband Fredrick Omondi, 40, have since gone on to demand compensation from the Diani Health Centre as they seek other legal options.

Haki Africa program officer Francis Auma said they will serve the health centre with a letter and wait for their response within 14 days, failure to which they will move to court.

Auma says that such cases are not rare and many medical practitioners across the country are negligent.

Doctor's defence

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board earlier this year came out to defend themselves amid rising cases of negligence within their profession.

They highlighted various cases where medical practitioners in various counties have been penalised for negligence under the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act.

By February, a total of 13 such cases had been determined while 115 others were pending under investigations.

Notable counties where negligence cases have been widespread include Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, Trans Nzoia, Kiambu and Nyeri.

According to the Law Society of Kenya, medical negligence, patients rarely get justice in court as medics are reluctant to testify against their own.

Prof. Kiama Wangai who is both a lawyer and medical doctor cited that lack of proper legislation ensured failure of medical negligence cases in court.

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