Police are searching for a woman suspected of stealing a newborn at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in the capital Nairobi.
It is believed the suspect sneaked out of the country’s largest referral hospital with the two-week-old baby named Prince while the mother was being attended to at the facility.
Ms Jane Kerubo had delivered the boys at KNH two weeks ago and was discharged.
However, she developed breathing complications of Sunday night and her husband Job Ouko brought her in for treatment at 2am accompanied by his sister-in-law Naomi Leo.
Ms Kerubo was not attended to immediately until 11am on Monday due to delays in cleaning up the room she was to be attended from.
When their turn came, Mr Ouko handed over his son Prince to a Kisii-speaking woman to help and the other son to yet another stranger as he took his wife to the ward to be attended to.
“I waited for almost 10 hours for my wife to be attended to. The more I stayed the more I got tired,’’ Mr Ouko told the Nation
“I am a human being, I see someone who is also a patient and waiting [sic] (and) decided to ask for help. I gave the other son to yet another patient to hold them as I escorted my wife to the ward.”
According to Mr Ouko, the second woman alerted him of the other woman’s exit when he came back to pick up the babies.
CCTV cameras at the hospital captured a woman holding a baby, believed to be the stolen newborn, moments before she boarded a motorbike and sped off.
It is believed that Mr Ouko and his wife warmed up to the two strangers as they spoke in their local dialect.
“Ms Naomi Leo (the sister) requested the ladies to hold the babies for her while she assists her brother-in-law to wheel her sister to the ward,” the hospital’s communications manager Simon Ithai explained in a statement.
“Shortly after they entered the ward, one of the ladies who had one of the babies by the name Lucy Kwamboka, came to the ward claiming that the other lady had disappeared with the other baby and they needed to raise the alarm,” Mr Ithai added.
Mr Ithai’s report conflicts Mr Ouko’s account that he learned of his son’s theft on coming to pick up his bundles of joy.
The communications manager stated that they are working with the police to bring the culprits to book.
“We have reported the matter to the police and the rider and the lady (second woman) were questioned. We are reviewing CCTV footage and have given police the same access. The sister and the husband are helping with the investigations.”
Mr Ouko however questioned the CCTV matter as his pleas to have a screenshot circulated to hunt for the woman have not been heeded.
“The two women had come in with patients, how is it that there are no records at the information desk to show us who the second woman was?” Mr Ouko said.
“We have requested to be given a screenshot of the footage that can help the public identify the woman since none of us can clearly remember her because we had gone through a lot of trauma from 2am to 11:30am when we were admitted.”
The family has circulated a photo of the twin boys urging anyone who spots the one covered in a white baby shawl to call 0700378169/ 0716395978/0704248445 or report to the nearest police station.
The baby theft comes barely a month after the largest referral hospital in the country was on the spot over alleged sexual harassment of female patients by its employees.
Source Daily Nation