In Summary
  • Countries with good healthcare have been proven to have strong economies.

  • Kenya has the potential for economic advancement if only it secured its human capital through better, affordable healthcare.

  • President Kenyatta needs to realise that it would be easier to concentrate on improving healthcare than being spread too thin on the ground chasing all four of his development agendas.

The state of healthcare in Kenya is deplorable and continues to be so despite the ‘Big Four Agenda’ having the service as a pillar.

Kenyans still struggle to access healthcare — not only basic healthcare but health coverage in its totality.

This is not criticism of the Big Four but the counties dragging their feet in enhancing healthcare at the grassroots.

We keep hearing about hospitals with poor mortuary facilities and bodies just left to rot. And if we still talk of patients who sleep on the floor, share beds or ill-afford basic medication, then we have no healthcare to speak of.

COMPASSION

Al Jazeera recently showed a documentary where poor pregnant Kenyan women had to bribe clinicians so that they can be fast-tracked to avoid a still birth. These women keep their foetuses healthy for nine months but lose babies to human greed and narcissism in our hospitals.

I remember being asked for a bribe in a public hospital so my brother could have a POP cast put on his broken leg. I thought then it was strange to have to bribe a clinician with duty of care. I am sad to hear these things are still going on, and they can only happen in a society devoid of compassion.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho flew his musician friend out of the country for treatment, so we recently heard. Mr Joho was, reportedly, in a private hospital when he was taken ill after that episode.

Prof Anyang Nyong’o, the governor of Kisumu, has been out of the country quite a few times to seek treatment. He recently spent a few days, at a Kisumu private hospital when he was taken ill while attending a presidential function.

Opposition chief and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga took his daughter abroad for life-saving treatment.

Members of the Senate and National Assembly, as told by their own fellow MP, have recently been scouring India, seeking treatment for cancer and other lifestyle diseases.

The question on my mind is, how do these leaders feel when they get themselves and their families the best healthcare at the behest of the poor they purportedly serve? It appears we elect people to build on their egos, health and bank balance than work hard to improve on service delivery.

COMMITMENT

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