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Dec-07-2012 01:40printcomments

Kenya's Citizens are Dying to Stay Out of the Hospitals

40,000 poor people are being held inside Kenya's hospitals for nonpayment

Karembo Amos' mother Sidi Hare
Sidi Hare recovers from surgery with the help of AKF's health worker, Grace. Photo: Aid Kenya Foundation

(SALEM, Ore.) - If Kenyans are too poor, they simply do not seek healthcare. You would probably choose to avoid the doctor too, if the hospital refused to release patients who didn't pay their bill on the spot. It's an uncomfortable stay, for months on end, for far too many.

The majority of poor people in Kenya, Africa are women and children. That may not be a surprise, as it is usually the case. This is exactly the problem for Sidi Hare.

In Kenya's slums or rural areas, like in Milalani, people by the thousands have no access to affordable health care services, and health insurance is nothing less than a pipe dream, if they've ever even considered it as an option.

Hospital stays are not cheap, even in Kenya.

Sidi Hare is a woman who recently survived a violent attack on her life by an ex-lover. She had emergency surgery, which was successful, and she is now due to be discharged from the hospital so she can finish recovering from her wound at home. Since her surgery was complicated, the balance owed to the hospital is high: GBP. 938 or USD. $1,495.

Sidi is a mother. Her baby girl is named Karembo Amos, and they live in the Milalani Commity of Malindi. Baby Karembo has a debilitating syndrome and she is suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia. She is not able to walk or talk, and has special healthcare needs that require her mother's constant supervision.

If Karembo's mother's bill is not paid on time, she will be detained in the hospital until it is paid in full. She will join the other 40,000 people being held in hospitals across Kenya for lack of payment. These patients comprise 4 percent of the total population of Kenya.

Karembo Amos needs her mommy

Imprisoning poor people in hospitals until they “pay up” is an incredibly bad policy, uncivilized even. Human rights are a problem in Kenya, to say the least.

The AID KENYA FOUNDATION has brought hope to Milalani village, not only to the children whom a new school and shelter is being built for (The Mission of Hope children's Center/Milalani Community School) but especially to poor women who have no prospects whatsoever, and are regularly lead to engage in drugs, "Mnazi" alcoholism and truancy to survive.

Little Karembo Amos's mother has been lucky to be tended to by the Foundations' Community Health worker, Grace, after surgery in the hospital. The group is working diligently to get Sidi released. This baby needs her mother to come home.

The Foundation has arranged with the Hospital for Sidi Hare to be discharged immediately once the bill is settled. She is one of thousands that need help being released from government health care hell. If you would like to assist, you can make a donation or mobilize resources for Sidi Hare, or the project “Mission of Hope Children's Center/Milalani Community School”.

As for the other 40,000 “patients” living in hospitals by Kenya's healthcare mandate, they cannot be forgotten. Their presence is needed in their own homes, villages, work places. They cannot contribute to the economy or hope to pay bills without the freedom to work for a living. Locking them away and throwing away the key is no answer to budgetary problems. Interesting theory though, a great story of utter failure to a country's own citizenry.

Donations can be sent to:
Western Union, or Mpesa (through Juddy Kemunto Anyona)

In Kind donations:
C/O Juddy Kemunto Anyona
Mission of Hope Children Center
Aid Kenya Foundation
P. O. Box 98283-80100
Mombasa, KENYA

A/C No. : 082-1430151
Swift Code: BARCKENX
Branch: Haile Selassie Avenue


Bonnie King has been with since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers.

View articles written by Bonnie King


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Anonymous December 8, 2012 10:02 pm (Pacific time)

Mrs. King you are a wonderful writer and we appreciate your kind heart, I think you did a great thing by writing this article, thank you and God bless those suffering people in Kenya.

Bill Annett December 7, 2012 12:20 pm (Pacific time)

Bonnie, with no intention of being facetious over an horrendous situation, reading your story, I couldn't help thinking about our ludicrous hospital situation here in the richest nation in the world. We have the finest facilities money can buy, and yet often they yawn empty because most people haven't enough money to buy them. Our healthcare system ranks #46 in the civilized world, the Democrats are busy bragging about it, while the Republicans are trying their best to make us #48.It hasn't occurred to anybody yet that a viable healthcare system doesn't need insurance companies creaming billions off the top. Suggesting that, of course, would be political suicide for any politician from dog-catcher to President.

Hope Kenya benefits from your piece.

Juddy December 7, 2012 4:27 am (Pacific time)

Bonnie, Thanks for publishing the story....God bless you. Many women and children are suffering in the hospital where they are actually detained...Now their voice will be heard.


Aid Kenya Foundation Team

Juddy Kemunto December 7, 2012 4:28 am (Pacific time)

Bonnie, Thnak you for publishing. God bless. Thanks, Aid Kenya Foundation

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