Probe into HIV women’s sterilisation claim starts

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has started investigations into cases of women living with HIV and Aids who claim they were sterilised without their knowledge.

The DPP, Mr Keriako Tobiko, on Wednesday appointed a task force to inquire into the matter and report back to him.

The seven member team, drawn from Mr Tobiko’s office, will be led by senior state counsel Catherine Mwaniki.

The public prosecutor said that the team will work with an organisation, African Gender and Media Initiative, which exposed the allegations by the affected women.

The task force and the organisation will interview victims and collect relevant evidence which can help prosecute those involved in the sterilisation.

“The findings will enable me make a decision whether there is evidence to sustain criminal charges against any person or group of people responsible for the sterilisation,” Mr Tobiko told the Nation.

The prosecutor has also written to the executive director of the gender initiative, Ms Faith Kisava, requesting her to submit to the task force any relevant information and material that may aid his office in the investigations.

The study by the gender initiative released a report recently on the cases of 40 women who claim to have been sterilised without their consent.

The report titled, Robbed of Choice: Forced and Coerced Sterilisation of women with HIV in Kenya, claims health workers were forcing women living with HIV to undergo contraceptive sterilisation.

The report captures grim experiences the women went through when they went to give birth but instead went home with their reproductive organs tampered with by the same doctors who helped them deliver.

The affected women are from Nairobi, Kakamega, Meru, Kandara, Tigania and Kisumu.

From the Daily Nation: 

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