The Ministry of Health is carrying out an investigation on Mbagathi Hospital for levying a Ksh3,000 fee on mothers whose infants die on delivery.
Confirming the claims, Health Principal Secretary Peter Tum revealed that the ministry has received complaints concerning the issue and have ordered the hospital to submit a report on the matter.
The hospital actions, if true, are in contrast with the State’s free maternity programme.
Asserting the State’s commitment to a wholesome maternity programme, the PS said: “The free maternity programme takes care of the mother and child from ante-natal to post-natal, including the disposal of the dead infants.”
According to reports, the mothers are usually detained until they pay the fee which is not receipted under the hospital’s financial records.
However, the Hospital’s medical superintendent Joseph Karani explained that the amount is usually used to cater for transport and burial expenses of the foetus and dead infants.
Mr Karani then went ahead to further divulge that, this was just a private arrangement with the mothers.
He added that the mothers are always free to take away their infants and bury them, emphasizing that they have stopped imposing the ‘death tax’ on the mothers following investigations by the ministry.