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Defiant couple declines treatment despite losing children to illness

Defiant couple declines treatment despite losing children to illness
June 18, 2019 Eastern Newspaper
By Mashariki Correspondent

A couple that has lost six children after allegedly refusing to have them treated because of their religion defended its action of neglecting their baby.

Derrick Kimani and Wamwere Gitau who are said to have lost six of their children in the past after allegedly refusing to take them to hospital said they are not ready to have their children go to hospital but can only pray for them to heal.

The duo who were found to have a case to answer for neglecting their one year and a month son said they don’t not believe in modern medicine but in prayers and that the Bible directs people to seek pastors’ and elders assistance when they get sick to pray for them and they will get healed.

In their defense before Embu Chief Magistrate Maxwell Gicheru the couple said it had not neglected its son as it was praying for him with assistance of other church elders and faithful and that they were sure he would get well through the power of God.

They have been charged that on Diverse dates between June 17 and September 28 last year at Mukuuri village in Embu West sub-county while being a father and mother they willfully neglected their son aged 13 months and denied him the right to health and medical attention by failing to take him for immunization and treatment.

Gitau admitted that they had lost their six children but not because of neglecting them by not taking care of them but that they passed away because of the will of God.

Gitau quoted the book of James chapter 5:14 which says: Are any among you sick? They should send for the church elders, who will pray for them and rub olive oil on them in the name of the Lord, noting that this verse shows very clearly that modern treatment has no place in healing.

However Gicheru told the couple that he recognizes what the Bible says but that the constitution and the Children Act which must be followed says children must have education, and health care which must be provided by the parents.

According to a sister of the husband Jane Kawira she was called by a relatives on September 14 last year and informed that the boy was very sick and that the couple had refused to take him to the hospital insisting that they were praying for him and that the prayers would work.

She said she rushed to the home and demanded that the couple take the child to the hospital but they obstinately refused and thus she took him by force to Embu Level Five Teaching and Referral Hospital where he was admitted.

Kawira said she was concerned about the baby because the couple has in the past lost six of their children for refusing to take them to hospital.

The witness said since the baby was so young she was admitted together with him and that he was treated and recuperated but that the couple also refused to go for them claiming they were unholy.

She said she reported the matter to Itabua police station when the couple was arrrested.


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