A 12-year-old boy was detained in a toilet at a public hospital for five days after his parent failed to raise a Sh800 medical bill.
Francis Kiplagat on Monday told the Nation that he was locked in a loo at Isiolo District Hospital on Tuesday last week when he walked out of the hospital bed to enjoy the sunshine.
The hospital also denied him food during his detention by security guards.
“I was going out to busk in the sun when the guards took me by force and accused me of trying to escape,” said a tearful Kiplagat.
The boy walked to freedom on Sunday after he was rescued by Isiolo North MP Joseph Samal and Women Representative Tiyah Galgalo.
The two leaders were alerted about the incident by patients when they visited victims of a road accident that claimed two lives at the weekend.
The lawmakers condemned the detention of the minor in the toilet, terming it inhumane. They called for investigations to prosecute those involved.
Kiplagat, who lives with his mother in Bula Bao estate, was admitted to the hospital with a stomach complication two weeks ago.
The boy said doctors and nurses treated him well when he was admitted and the hospital provided him with food and other requirements. However, things changed when he was suspected of trying to escape to avoid paying the bill.
And, although his mother brought him food, he was denied medication during his lock-up in the toilet. As such he had not completed his dose.
Kiplagat said his woes started after his mother failed to show up when he was due for discharge. “I have been treated and now I am well, but I am not happy with the way they treated me. I want to go home,” he said.
The hospital management refused to comment on the matter.
However, Isiolo county commissioner David Kipkemei dismissed the claims, saying the boy had only been locked up in a “strong room” after attempting to escape.
“We did our investigations and found out that the boy was not locked up because of money but doctors could not release him since he is underage,” he told the Nation.
Mr Kipkemei claimed the boy had been sleeping in a strong room, located near the main toilet, used for detaining bill defaulters and mentally ill patients.
He added the hospital was investigating whether the boy had a mental problem.