- Ivine Kinagu, 22, is living a life of pain and bitterness after realising that one of her kidneys was removed without her consent during an operation.
- Ivine had just discovered that one of her kidneys was missing with her suspicion being that it had been removed without her consent during an admission to a hospital in Nairobi.
- Ivine was confused. She had only had one surgery in her life; the one to remedy her stomach pain.
Ivine Kinagu, 22, is living a life of pain and bitterness after realising that one of her kidneys was removed without her consent during an operation.
Ivine had just discovered that one of her kidneys was missing with her suspicion being that it had been removed without her consent during an admission to a hospital in Nairobi. Two years ago, a nagging stomach sent her to Mbagathi Hospital.
“When I went to Mbagathi, I was diagnosed with stomach problems and was told I will need surgery. An operation was done after tests, but nobody mentioned kidney removal or that I had a missing kidney,” she says. It is only after she developed postsurgery complications that she stumbled on the shocking truth.
“I started getting fatigued and persistent stomach pains a few months after the operation. When I went back to Mbagathi Hospital, I did another scan and that is when I was told I was missing one kidney,” she says.
Ivine was confused. She had only had one surgery in her life; the one to remedy her stomach pain. She was advised to go for another test to confirm that indeed she was missing one kidney. She went to Mama Lucy Hospital where she got a similar conclusion: one of her kidneys was missing.
“It would be quite unfortunate if a doctor removed her kidney without her knowledge. It is something that has disturbed me because that would point to a dangerous trend of organ harvesting,” says Father John Munjuri, a Catholic priest in the area who connected Ivine with a team of volunteer Catholic lawyers.
The lawyers then wrote to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Boards, an agency that arbitrates cases between patients and doctors.
According to The Standard, Ivine was attended to by a consultant doctor called Tinega on July 12, 2019. She was diagnosed with abdominal pains and taken for an operation. A document breaking down the scan that was done before the operation indicates that both her kidneys were normal.
“We are wondering what might have happened in that surgery. Someone must have removed her kidney without telling us,” says her mother Jerusa Kageha.
Dr Ahmed Twahir, a nephrologist and chairman of the Kenya Renal Association, says chances that her kidney was stolen at the hospital for commercial purposes are extremely slim; almost impossible.
He says while other countries with many kidney specialists have reported incidents of kidney harvesting, Kenya has very few specialists who can successfully remove a kidney, preserve it and transport it for use on other patients.
He says the worst-case scenario of what could have happened is negligence, and that the patient should fill a form with the medical board to query the events that happened before and after the surgery.
“Nobody knows for sure what could have happened, but there are several possibilities. If the matter is taken to the medical board, the doctor and the team that worked on the case will explain,” says Dr Twahir.
Leah Muhonja, Ivine’s aunt, says even if there is a possibility of her niece having been born with one kidney, or it was removed by mistake, it does not make sense that none of the many doctors they encountered before and after the operation mentioned it.
Medical law advocate Isaac Barasa says the laws on organ donations and transplants are still cloudy, making it difficult for medics to harvest from living and brain-dead donors. Even though the Health Act of 2017 stipulates rules and punishment that are to guide organ donation and transplant, there is no proper regulation.
He says among the most important factors should be consent from who the organ is being removed. For Kinagu, she awaits an explanation on what could have happened.
There's no story that cannot be told. We cover the stories that others don't want to be told, we bring you all the news you need. If you have tips, exposes or any story you need to be told bluntly and all queries write to us [email protected] also find us on Telegram