Court orders Hospital to pay woman $25,000 after she was forced to give birth on the floor


A High Court sitting in Bungoma, Kenya on Thursday awarded a woman who was forced to give birth on the floor of a state-run hospital $25,000 damages.
Josephine Majani, who couldn’t get a bed to put to bed with, was verbally and physically by hospital staff. The incident happened in 2013.
According to Majani’s testimony instead of the hospital employee on duty empathising with her they instead slapped and insulted for dirtying the hospital floor.
Bungoma High Court Judge Abida Ali Aroni said the hospital had violated her right to health and dignity, adding that the authorities have failed to dedicate adequate resources for maternal healthcare across the country, Reuters reports.
"I was neglected, abused, and shamed during my time at Bungoma District Hospital," said Majani in a statement.
"I'm hopeful that the court's judgment today will force the government to do the right thing and ensure that all women can get the maternal healthcare they need with respect and dignity."
Campaigners who hailed the landmark ruling, say Majani's case is just one of the plethora of cases where government hospitals are ill-equipped to provide women with free maternal services and, as a result, deny them quality health care, and sometimes subject them to severe abuse.
New York-based the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) on its part said the judgment would put pressure on Kenya’s government to prioritise maternal care.
"This is a landmark case for Kenyan women," the CRR's Africa director, Evelyne Opondo, said in a statement.
"It sends a very clear message to Kenyan health providers, and to the government ... that neglect of Kenyan women in health care settings will no longer be tolerated - nor will it be without consequences for those responsible."

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