By Gordon O
Reading and watching the story of the accident victim that died after waiting for 18 hours to be admitted in hospital brings back memories of how my buddy Cameraman Freddy Apamo died in August. Ironically before being shot on Saturday, we had discussed production of Tv programmes on the State of Health that Friday.
He died after going through the scandal of the public health system in Nairobi. He was shot at 6 am, just 500 metres from Mama Lucy Hospital. It took three hours for him to get a bed. At that time he had lost lots of blood. After getting admission, the Nurses at Mama Lucy (there was no Doctor on duty) said that they could not attend to him and got an Ambulance to KNH.
He reached KNH five hours after being shot, and had lost 75 % of his blood. That was not enough to get a bed at the ICU, it took specific calls to a top Surgeon who personally came to attend to him and get a bed at the ICU, and later to the Theater.
He died the following day, after two surgeries.
However, the tears, words and anger of the Surgeon that tried his best his life still ring loudly in my mind.
“I blame the Middle Class in Kenya”, those were the words he uttered as he explained to me what specialists undergo in KNH. They watch helplessly as patients die out of preventable causes. “If Mama Lucy Hospital had basic equipment, Freddy’s life would have been saved. Instead, a huge building is built, no equipment provided- and politicians munch all the money meant to buy equipment'” were his words.
The Middle Class have the education and resources to influence
policy. They have the means to question expenditure such as the sh 38 billion used to buy equipment to hospitals. They have the brains to question how billions being allocated to health are being used. They have the brains to question why billions are being used for foreign travel, entertainment and leisure by the politicians right from the MCAs to the highest office- at a time when our hospitals lack basic amenities.
Instead, the middle class have insulated themselves by taking some cheap medical insurance. They take their children to private academies, and use private guards to give them some fake security. As a result many have no idea what is going on in the public hospitals, public schools and police stations. Many have no idea that the average Kenyan that does not have access to insurance and private academies go through hell. Many have no idea how the police still brutalise and tread on the poor hapless Kenyans without access to lawyers.
Instead,they cheer on political leaders from both the Government and he Opposition- many that have made billions through questionable deals.
Instead of questioning the state of our public health system, many in the middle class are busy fixated about who fixed who at ICC. Instead of asking why billions are being splashed all over in wasteful ventures, many in the middle class are busy taking the tribal language of the politicians.
Many need to wake up, otherwise things will get from bad to worse.