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
The hospital management refused to comment on
However, Isiolo county commissioner David Kipkemei
dismissed the claims, saying the boy had only been
locked up in a “strong room” after attempting to
“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
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.
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