By Abel Amala
Salma Oleso, a Class Five pupil at Kakamega Primary School pupil, who was discharged from hospital recently after being injured during the deadly February 3 stampede, succumbed to lung complications, a postmortem report released Tuesday indicates.
Dr Dickson Mchana, a pathologist at the Kakamega County Referral Hospital, told K24 Digital that Salma’s lungs were affected during the stampede, and resultant breathing difficulties led to her death on Monday, February 10.
Mchana urged parents, whose children were discharged from hospital recently, to regularly take the young ones for check-up to avert possible deaths.
Salma’s mother, Zaituna Amwai, recounted to K24 Digital her daughter’s last moments.
Below is her narration:
“My child, who sustained injuries during the February 3 stampede at Kakamega Primary School, was very much okay in the last two days. Even when she was still admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), she would eat, walk and speak.
“Doctors advised that she shouldn’t be discharged from hospital then despite exhibiting all signs of good health. The medics said they wanted to shield her from media attention, and moved her from the ICU to Ward 5A. And, after they were certain that her health had significantly improved, they discharged her on Monday.
“My daughter and I walked from the hospital ward to the gate, and we both hailed a boda boda home. Upon reaching home, my little girl told me that she wanted food. I prepared her black tea and toasted bread; I couldn’t prepare her milk tea because she was allergic to milk.
“After taking her meal, she told me: ‘Mum, I want to talk to the doctor, call her’. I called the doctor, and she spoke with him on phone. The girl, thereafter, told me: ‘Mum, call my grandmother, I want to speak with her’. I did. I wish I knew she was bidding me goodbye forever through her actions.
“After she was done talking to the doctor and her grandmother, I stepped out to make a call. Shortly, thereafter, a relative of mine ran out of the house towards where I was, and told me that my girl had dropped down, dead. I was shocked. I rushed into the house, and was saddened to learn that what I had been told was indeed true.”
Salma Oleso’s body was taken to the Kakamega County Referral Hospital morgue.
Her death brings the total number of children who lost their lives in the February 3 stampede to 15.
Fourteen other pupils died early last week due to suffocation, pathologist Dickson Mchana said on February 6.
The cause of the stampede is still a matter under investigation, though two pupils, who spoke to K24 Digital last Thursday (February 6), revealed that the learners in Classes Four and Five scampered for safety after a male Class Six pupil scared them that he had seen a ghost that wanted to suck the children’s blood.
During the mass escape, some fell on the staircases and were trampled to death. Fourteen pupils died and 46 were injured during the stampede.
Engineers have since recommended structural adjustments to be conducted at the school, which will see expansion of the staircases that are used by the pupils.