9 June 2019

Kenya: Man Who Was Stopped By Government From Seeking Medical Treatment Abroad Dies

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Kenneth Kamau Kinyua, a-25 year-old man from Embu who was stopped by the government from travelling to India for a kidney transplant is dead.

Kinyua succumbed to kidney failure at Nairobi West Hospital on Saturday morning leaving behind a huge bill of Sh980,000.

According to Standards and Quality Assurance department at the Ministry of Health, patients seeking treatment outside the country require approval from the government.

They fill out a form with their details and give valid reasons for seeking treatment out of the country.

"If the patient states they are going to undergo, for instance, a Caesarian Section in India, we decline because we have so many hospitals in the country offering that type of service," said an official at the ministry.

Currently, Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Embu Teaching and Referral Hospital are the only public hospitals that conduct kidney transplants in Kenya.

The family is now calling upon well-wishers and the government to assist them in settling the hospital bill so they can be able to bury the deceased.

The family of the deceased, which lives in Kangari village in Runyenjes Sub County, sold all its property in an effort to save the life of their son.

"We cannot be able to raise such an amount of money. We sold everything, our house is empty with nothing else to sell," said David Kinyua, the deceased's father.

SPECIALIZED TREATMENT

Kamau's mother, Zipporah Wanja, added that they are now living in abject poverty and they can't raise the pending hospital bill by their own.

She said the family had attached title deeds and a car log book at different hospitals.

"He has been in and out of different hospitals at different times and we were forced to charge our land at some point to secure his release," she said amid tears.

However, they said their son would have survived if the government had allowed him to travel to India for specialized treatment.

The Ministry of Health had said such services were available in Kenya and there was no need of Kenneth Kinyua to travel abroad to seek treatment.

The deceased was an Information Technology student at Mount Kenya University and was diagnosed with stage five kidney failure in 2017 and has been surviving on three dialysis sessions every week until his death.

"He underwent three surgeries, I think this led to his kidneys failing," said John Kandia, his guardian.

Kandia said that at the time of his death, Kamau was dangerously underweight at 30kg down from 65kg last year.

HOSPITAL BILL

The family is now calling upon the government, well-wishers and other organizations of goodwill to come to their help clear the hospital bill so that they can bury their son.

We are appealing to well-wishers, people of goodwill to support us raise Sh980,000 for us to be able to bury our son," said Wanja.

The family noted that Kamau has been suffering from other opportunistic ailments which costed more than Sh35,000 daily for treatment.

Help can be sent through Pay bill number, 222911, Account number, Kamau#.

According to the Ministry of Health, approximately 10,000 Kenyans travel abroad every year in search of medical treatment.

A 2015 survey by the ministry found that 40 per cent of Kenyans who travelled overseas for treatment had renal (kidney) diseases while the rest suffered from other diseases, such as cancer, spinal disease, tissue disorders and peripheral vascular disorders among others.

The patients said they chose to go abroad because of lack of enough specialists and specialised medical equipment, long waiting periods, especially for cancer treatment and kidney transplants, and the high cost of treatment in Kenya.

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