Last night as I sat on my bed watching the evening news, I was puzzled to hear a presidential report appointing Dalmas Otieno acting Minister for medical services. I wondered, though silently for lack of an interested audience, where the man with countless degree was hiding. Perhaps, and this was an idea creeping softly into my mind, that Ocampo had decided to add him to the list and the learned fellow had decided wisely to go underground. Or if the immense knowledge stored in that brain had exceeded its capacity and had driven the able minister to madness. And since I’m still not privy to adequate information regarding his where about, I’m still not dismissing this possibility. Moreover, the news that he is tucked somewhere in a Swiss hospital does nothing to stop my over zealous and paranoid mind. Yes, it is my believe that he is indeed in a nut house, clad in white, locked away with other mad people in shutter island.
But this article is not about Nyong’o and his insane exploits in the neutral nation, nor the possibility that he is hiding there from the Argentinian man based at The Hague. This is a story about why the man at the helm of the medical system chose to seek medical help so far away from home, yet still have the audacity to claim that he has brought any improvement to health care in Kenya. How can us ordinary folks have confidence in our system if the man who is head of the same leaves dust in his wake as he runs abroad to seek medical attention. My verdict, its all poppycock. Mediocrity reigns supreme in the land of the wise, where his wisdom have failed to trickle down and transform the care givers to act diligently, humanly and ethically in assisting sick and suffering Kenyans. The result is death, pain and tears that stain the souls of the affected, and those who come to comfort them. Pain so deep and real, its menacing, a product of despair and death. And the government watches on, untouched, unconcerned, in genuine, ready to be whisked off to far away lands if the same stalks them. And nyong’o sat on his wizardly broom, and like Dambodore in the harry porter myths, out flew death to the land of secret banking, where death considered too political is banned and outlawed.
I came face to face with the sad state of affairs in our public hospital when accompanying my sick mother to Kiambu district hospital. My mother who couldn’t take a single step without tears running down her face. My frail mother whose every breath felt like inhaling a ball of fire, and the prospect of walking loomed like a walk in Siberia without any piece of clothing. My mom who looked so thin and sick, a gust of strong wind could have knocked her down. And the pain in her face, I could feel my heart break into a million pieces, but I had to find the strength to get her help in this institution of hope. And just there on the entrance was comfortable wheel chair to carry my mother to the doctor’s room. And at the triage desk was the warmest caring nurse I’ve ever seen, who fussed around my mother and trying her best to get her to the doctor as soon as possible. And did I tell you that we saw the doctor in less than five minutes? Yes, he was such a caring gentleman who examined my mother and decreed that she need to be given further tests immediately then admitted to the nearest ward for further analysis and treatment. And at night when my mother fell critically ill, the doctors rushed to her aid and stabilized her, and she’s now in the kitchen preparing us dinner. Now go back to the entrance and take it all back, for none of this was there, nor was there any real attempt to assist us.
And no, my mom is not in the kitchen, she lies lonely on a solitary grave, while our hearts mourns silently for her. My dear mother, a casualty of a system filled with uncaring professionals, their indifference paled only by their monumental incompetence. So ladies and gentleman, what higher right does Nyong’o have over my mother, that he should be spared the eventual consequence of seeking care in one of his hospitals here in Kenya. Somebody should drag this minister to Kiambu hospital, let him walk from the entrance without a wheel chair, find an uncaring nurse at the triage desk, be served by an incompetent and jack ass physician, be denied admittance to the wards because he doesn’t know anyone there and finally go home to die, in utter and unbelievable pain. And maybe, if the God’s deem him fit for reincarnation, he can do a genuine job of reforming Kenya’s medical system; and avert the senseless anguish Kenyans endure all the time.