Wednesday, October 12, 2016

#1Milli4WanjikuRevoltsMum Medical Fundraising Appeal

Hi friends. My name is Edwin Mutemi wa Kiama, also known as "WanjikuRevolution Kenya" on Facebook or @WanjikuRevolt on twitter... Am a social justice activist opposed to all manner of uthamaki (tribal kingdoms), whether in Central Kenya, Rift Valley, Nyanza, Ukambani or wherever in Kenya...Am one those guys the Deputy President describes as non-hard-working Kenyan activists who drink till 11pm and wake up at 11am... No I don't. Seriously, am a typical Kenyan hustler who asks questions on why things are not the way they should be and speaks truth to power with love. Like, where are the 5 world class stadiums promised to us in 2013 campaigns?!

State of public healthcare in Kenya
Whenever am questioned on my activism, I simplify it thus: “I would like my mum who’s retired to have a competently staffed and equipped government run health center within a 5 Km radius of her location anywhere in Kirinyaga that can attend to minor ailments, diagnose and refer more serious cases to a well-equipped, well-staffed government run level 4 or 5 hospital within the county. There should be no need to ferry my sick mum to Nairobi unless absolutely critical.” Little did I know I would experience the sorry state of our public healthcare system first hand, and that our mum would die in the process!

Here are a few points...
1) Mum went to have an abdominal operation to correct a hernia Kerugoya Medical Center, a private hospital. These are usually routine but she was hypertensive. She went into cardiac arrest and had to be transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) ICU via ambulance without operating. Reason, no ICU in Kirinyaga or the environs, not even private hospitals. Options were KNH or Mathari in Nyeri. How is this possible 54 years after independence?

2. Surgery was done at KNH, but turned septic. She was at KNH ICU for 23 days, had several cardiac arrests, did not survive the last one and passed on.
By then she had incurred a bill of around 1.6 million shillings after 23 days in a public hospital. Is that right?

3. Mum had been a teacher for 32 years, paid her taxes and other statutory deductions at source dutifully (well, one has no choice). She was a pensioner. When she started getting sickly 4 months ago, we discovered she didn't have NHIF cover. We reactivated it. She died a day after it became active on 3rd October 2016!

Questions on Kenyan Healthcare System:
  1. Why aren't pensioners covered automatically and deducted from pension just as it was when they were employed, especially former government GoK employees?
  2. Please urge everyone to get NHIF cover as it would have taken care of this bill, and enrol your relatives, especially the retired and the elderly parents. Have your retiree family and friends check the NHIF status.
  3. Why would someone who has served Kenya as a teacher for 32 years have to sell off hard earned land or other property because of illness or death to pay off a hospital bill in a government hospital? Does that make any sense? Isn't the state meant to take care of its people?

Other notes...
  •         KNH Casualty section is understaffed. Relatives and friends have to find beds for themselves. Many patients die there waiting to be attended.
  •         County hospitals are referring cases they can easily attend to to KNH causing an administrative log jam.
  •        KNH only has 20 ICU beds in the main ICU plus a few others scattered in different sections. This is a disaster. There is need for the government to address this.

As a family are humbly appealing to Kenyans to support us offset the bill through Paybill number or Equity Bank account below:

Instructions for sending money:
Go to: Mpesa LIPA NA MPESA

Or through Equity Bank
Harambee Avenue Branch
Stella Karimi Kiama-Medical Fund
Account number 0240170059583

Asante and God bless you!