Kiambu MP says late mum was buried hurriedly at 8pm after false COVID-19 diagnosis

Kiambu Central MP Jude Njomo whose family had to bury their late mother Margaret Njomo at 8PM in early June now reveals that his late mum got a wrong COVID-19 diagnosis.

Speaking during The Committee on Health sitting on Tuesday, Njomo said his late mum had tested negative at the Aga Khan after falling ill and taking the requisite test.

On June 8, she fell ill again and her family rushed her to the Mater Hospital where she succumbed outside the hospital.

Her body was preserved at the facility as the family retreated to make funeral plans.

During the preparations, however, the family received news that the decedent had tested positive for the new coronavirus and they needed to plan for a funeral immediately.

The MP says the family received a call at 3PM and his mum was buried at 8pm the same day.

“I tried to beg for more time but in line with the law, we received a call at 3pm we buried her by 8pm, for the 82 years she had lived we felt that we did not give her the dignity,” the MP explained.

The family, disatisfied with the results asked the Mater hospital to conduct another test.

The test which was carried out at the Nairobi Hospital returned negative results.

Further,the MP approached Ministry of Health Director General Dr Patrick Amoth with the results; two other tests carried out at the National Influenza Centre returned negative results.

“I asked myself how many Kenyans have gotten wrong results, how many other Kenyans go through quarantine because of a wrong outcome, how many labs are careless, there are many Kenyans who are voiceless and let me the voice for those who have been offended by the careless laboratories, I wrote to KMPDB to inquire what is the problem of Lancet?” The MP asked.

Prof. Dominic Mwenje, the CEO Mater Hospital told the committee that the hospital had not reached out to the Lancet Lab after the contentious results saying the lab is credible and is used by facilities across the country.

“I believe that we didn’t contact Lancet about the negative result, being a national credited Lab used by many hospitals and institutions, when the two returned negative results we did not follow up on this case,” Prof Mwenje explained.

Lancet Kenya Group Managing Director Ahmed Khalebi said the incident of disparities was not unique noting that the facility has been audited by three government instituitions.

On the particular incident, Khalebi , a pathologist by profession noted that Ms Njomo test was carried out on 3 genes and two were positive for the coronavirus.

Further, Khalebi explained that between June 13 and June 27, the lab undertook a detailed an thorough internal audit and determined that the positive results were indeed correct.

The report tabled before the committee noted that the varied results may have been as a result of different technique of testing, poor specimen, late collection of specimen or if the specimen was mishandled.

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