Hospital wants PwC to help pay damages

By: PAUL OGEMBA

A top audit firm Monday fought an attempt to have it enjoined in a case on sterilisation of HIV positive women to assist in settling damages.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) opposed the application by Marura Maternity and Nursing Home, which has been accused of being behind the alleged forced sterilisation, arguing that the case was about violation of the woman’s rights by the hospital and had nothing to do with the contract between the hospital and the audit firm.

The health institution, through its lawyer Seth Ojienda, claimed that one of the women was transferred to its facility by PwC through a contract agreement which would make the audit firm responsible for any damages.

“The woman approached the hospital based on the advice and assessment of PwC. We will seek contribution from the audit firm for any compensation the court may award to the victim. That is why they have to be joined in the case,” said Ojienda.

FORCED STERILISATION

But PwC’s lawyer Peter Gachuhi contended that the hospital had not demonstrated how the agreement between them led to the alleged violation of the woman’s rights, and that it would have been the victim to join them if she felt PwC participated in forced sterilisation.

“There is nothing to warrant joining PwC. We would only be joined if we applied ourselves or when we felt we had information that would help the court reach a just finding,” said Mr Gachuhi.

The women, whose identity are concealed, filed the petition in conjunction with the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV/AIDS (KELIN) and the African Gender and Media Initiative Trust.

According to the women, they were forced to undergo bilateral tubal ligation at Pumwani Maternity Hospital and at Marura upon being referred there by Blue House Mathare Clinic, a medical centre run by Medecins Sans Frontieres of France.

They have sued the Ministry of Health, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Pumwani Maternity, Marie Stopes, Marura and the Nairobi County Government.

Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi will give her ruling on December 17.