(PRESS RELEASE) This week Mugo Wairimu, an owner of health clinics posing as a gynecologist, was arrested after multiple Kenyan news outlets reported on a video exposé showing him sedating and later raping a female patient.
Although Mr. Wairimu was deregistered by Kenya’s Medical and Dentists Board last year, his two clinics in Githurai and Zimmerman remained open. Multiple complaints of malpractice and abuse have been lodged against Mr. Wairimu, leading to a previous arrest, however that criminal investigation ended with his release. The Serious Crimes Unit took over this rape investigation on September 8 after public outcry from the news story.
Mr. Wairimu is being detained for 14 days and will head to court on September 25.
Said Evelyne Opondo, regional director for Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“This supposed doctor repeatedly committed heinous acts against women who arrived at his clinics expecting quality health services.
“The Kenyan government failed women by effectively allowing unregistered medical professionals like Mr. Wairimu to pose as qualified health professionals, putting patients’ health and safety at grave risk.
“The government must ensure oversight of medical professionals and clinics, as well as conduct a thorough investigation into the multiple rape allegations against Mr. Wairimu.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights has worked for more than a decade across the continent of Africa to advance women’s access to reproductive health care through law and policy reform. The Center has filed cases against Pumwani Maternity Hospital and Bungoma District Hospital in Kenya for the ill-treatment of women seeking quality maternal health care. In 2007, the Center and the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya released the report Failure to Deliver: Violations of Women’s Human Rights in Kenyan Health Facilities, documenting how Kenya’s health care sector suffers from systemic and widespread problems that deny women quality reproductive health care. In 2010, the Center published the report In Harm’s Way, which documented the devastating effects of the criminalization of abortion in Kenya before the law was reformed, and demonstrated how the weaknesses in Kenya’s health care system are further exacerbated when it comes to a reproductive health service that is perceived as illegal and highly stigmatized.