A Kenyan judge has set precedence in the country after he ordered a top university hospital to pay Sh4.3 million in damages as compensation to a woman who conceived after a long-term contraceptive (implant) failed.
Justice Hatari Waweru, directed Aga Khan University Hospital family planning clinic to pay the woman (name withheld) the amount, which would go towards the general upkeep of the “unplanned child.
The judge further directed the hospital to pay the woman a further Sh500,000 for pain and loss of her comfort.
“Doing the best that I can with the material before the court I will award Sh20,000 per month for 18 years. In arriving at this figure, I have taken into account that the cost of living will probably keep rising as the years go by.
“There will be a stiff rise in expenses for the child when she gets to secondary school and hopefully to university,” Justice Waweru said in his judgment delivered at Murang’a.
The woman told the court that on July 4 2011 she consulted Aga Khan University Hospital’s family planning clinic for a contraceptive as she did not want to have more children since she and her husband were already struggling to bring up their two children.
She was advised that an implant known as Implanon would be the most suitable for her and would prevent her from conceiving for a period of three years.
However, in August 2012, she tested positive for a pregnancy test.
“She visited the hospital on August 10, 2012 where a further test confirmed she was indeed pregnant.
“Other tests by the hospital staff confirmed that no Implanon had been implanted after all. This resulted in the delivery of her third child on March 26, 2013,” said the plaintiff.
Well, that ruling is a first in Kenya and has been trending on social media since morning but the reality is that cases of medical negligence are rampant in the country and there are dozens of women who have had unplanned pregnancies due to failed contraception.
Children are a blessing yes; but family planning is imperative as well and the ruling therefore sets a precedent as far as such cases are concerned.