Kenya: New mothers win in court after being held and abused in hospital

| September 28, 2015

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The High Court has awarded compensation to two new mothers detained in a Kenyan hospital for not paying their maternity bills.

Evelyne Opondo is Africa director for the Centre for Reproductive Rights. She says, “We are very excited. It’s a landmark [ruling] in many ways.”

Kenya introduced free maternity services in 2013 to encourage women to get proper care in hospitals and cut the country’s high maternal death rate. But, Ms. Opondo says, “It’s really not free on the ground. A lot of women still have to pay and a lot of people are still being detained … This is a rampant problem throughout the country.”

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Photo: A Ministry of Health notice and price list is displayed on the wall of the Kogelo Dispensary in the village of Kogelo, west of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, July 16, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya