A family that lost an 18-year-old girl to kidney failure last year, has donated a dialysis machine to Murang’a level 5 hospital.
The machine will make it possible for more renal patients to access dialysis at the facility.
The renal unit was started in 2015 by the county government with four machines and the national government then added 5 others in 2016.
George and Lucy Kihara donated one dialysis machine in partnership with Consolata Shrine fraternity to the renal unit that has now been named after their daughter Christine Wambui.
Governor Mwangi Wa Iria while receiving the machine said he was prompted to start the renal unit after he met Wambui while she was seeking medical care during the 2013 elections.
The unit, he said, has so far conducted about 16,224 free dialysis sessions and saved patients over Sh160 million.
He said a dialysis session costs Sh9,500 at Kenyatta National Hospital where patients previously had to endure the long queues, many succumbing as they waited.
He however noted that the facility has been put under a lot of strain due to the high number of patients steaming into the hospital every day.
The governor noted that about 42 patients are on chronic dialysis and attend two sessions every week while 42 others are in the waiting list.
“I am happy that with the new machines, we will be able to conduct 6 more sessions everyday,” he said.
Wa Iria also directed his health department to procure 9 more dialysis machines to expand the unit.
He further noted that the county government sponsored three nurses for a training course at Kenyatta National Hospital at a cost of Sh. 1 million per year per nurse when the unit was started and that 3 more will be trained handle the increased machines and patients.
“We want the unit to become a centre of excellence in renal services countrywide as we offer the services to Murang’a people and the neighboring counties,” he said.
He hailed the family for the donation and called out on more Kenyans to take up similar initiatives to help boost medical services in the country.
“If more of us supported the health sector in a similar manner, then we can deal a blow to the challenges facing the sector,” he added.
Father Francis Wambua, vice chairman of the Consolata Shrine said the donation will help keep alive Wambui’s dream to become a doctor.
“She spent so much time in dialysis machines it prompted her to aspire to become a nephrologist,” he said.
Wambua said the church supports the donation as it will serve as a reminder of her kindness and desire to help people.
“I am in so much pain, every time I get out of that machine my life is never the same, day by day my body gets weaker and weaker,” these are the words of a 29 years old Loise Wanjiku, whose both Kidneys have failed.
Wanjiku has been going through dialysis twice per week for survival since 2014 at Alliance Medical centre, Nairobi.
The single mother from Kayole is now appealing to the public to help her raise money for transplant.
Her 12-year-old girl stays with her mother at their rural home.
Currently, Wanjiku is being accommodated by her brother who is willing to donate to her one of his kidneys.
‘I can’t keep on surviving through dialysis as it has its own side effects and I develop complications every day,” she told the Star on Friday.
“I have developed chest pains because of the curvature, my body is weak. I cannot stand for long,” she added.
Her’s is a cry of pain. Literally.
Wanjiku says though NHIF card caters for the cost of dialysis she has to buy drugs from her pocket which is quite expensive.
She was diagnised in 2014 at Kenyatta National Hospital.
“Before going for test my whole body was swollen, I had constant diarrhoea, my blood levels went down to five. I couldn’t eat and I was sleepy all the time,” she said.
“It was a shocking revelation, I saw my life coming to a stand still, I looked at my daughter and I couldn’t help crying,” she said.
Wanjiku had to be admitted at KNH for two months for her condition to stabilize.
The hospital bill was Sh200 000 but luckily it was waved.
Before her condition, she used to work as a hairdresser in a salon in Nairobi.
She cant work anymore.
Wanjiku says since then her life took an ugly twist as many of her friends walked away.
“Unless I get a transplant I will never be able to bear children. That’s what I was told by my doctors. I have always wished to be there for my daughter just like any other parent, but with my condition I cannot,” she explained.
“I had to sent my daughter to our Njoro home in Nakuru county where she now stays with my mother.
Wanjiku said that she has so far been able to raise Sh478 000 through a Facebook group called Single and saved.
“It was my brother who came up with this idea, he posted my plight on the page and after discussion with the group administrator Dayan Masinde, members agreed to be contributing some amount,” she said.
The group has also establish a project of selling caps and T-shirts which goes at Sh200 to raise the amount needed.
Kihia said that she’s optimistic that they will be able to raise the amount and that her sister will be back on her feet.
“It has never been easy, every day is a struggle but am optimistic that will raise the amount and Wanjiku will be well,“ he said.