Shock as Thika doctors discover 14 needles in baby’s body

All but one have been surgically removed

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Jacinta Ndunge and her daughter during the interview. INSET: An X-Ray image showing the pins that had been lodged inside the infant's body. PHOTO: THE STAR

Kenyans are still reeling in disbelief after sewing needles were discovered inside the body of a toddler in Thika, Kiambu county.

Doctors at Thika Level Five Hospital successfully removed 13 of 14 needles that were lodged in the buttocks of the 10-month-old baby.

Jacinta Ndunge_thika
Jacinta Ndunge holding her daughter Jane Wairimu at Thika Level 5 Hospital. PHOTO: KAMAU MAICHUHIE/STANDARD

The surgery left doctors at the health institution baffled and trying to figure out exactly how the 14 needles which were rusty and some had already started getting dissolved in the body, ended up there.

According to the baby’s mother, Jacinta Ndunge, she went to hospital on November 12 seeking treatment for baby Jane Wairimu after noticing she was unwell. The Standard reports that when Ms Ndunge arrived at the hospital, doctors said the child had to be admitted for screening.

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But even before the doctors could diagnose the baby’s illness, something happened that left her mother perplexed. While changing her daughter’s diapers, something sharp pricked her fingers, arousing curiosity.

“I wondered what it was and called the nurse. After a brief incision, a sewing needle popped out, to our shock,” she said.

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Ndunge, a mother of four and a resident of Kiganjo Estate in Thika, was quoted by the daily as saying, after the needles were discovered, doctors recommended an X-ray. The X-ray revealed 14 sewing needles were lodged in the little girl’s buttocks.

Surgery was arranged and 13 sewing needles were removed but one is still lodged in her buttocks as medics fear removing the remaining needle may be injurious to the child’s nerves and blood vessels.

Kiambu County acting Health Chief Officer Andrew Toro however says the baby was fine and stable adding the remaining needle was not a threat to her life.

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“The remaining one, which is lodged in her flesh but at a deeper level, cannot kill the child. The child shall stay at the hospital as doctors decide what to do next,” said Dr Toro.

Ndunge, 31, whose rural home is Makueni County said she and her husband still don’t understand the discovery but have ruled out witchcraft, saying she never believed in such things.