Distressed Gatundu family seeks help to secure release of 10 year-old-son detained in hospital

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 24 Jan, 2023 20:18 | 2 mins read
Josephine Munga, mother to the detained boy addressing journalists in Gatundu. Photos/Mathew Ndung'u

The family of a 10-year-old boy from Gatundu South, Kiambu County who has been detained at a Nairobi hospital over unpaid bills is desperately seeking the help of well-wishers to help clear the rising fees.

John Munga Ng’ang’a was admitted at Luton Medical Hospital in Nairobi on December 29, 2022, after he fell out of a two-storey building in Gatundu town.

Munga had an accident on December 27, 2022, that saw him suffer potentially life-threatening injuries on his head.

His skull fractured forcing him to be admitted to Gatundu Level Five hospital but because he could not receive specialized treatment, doctors there referred him to Kenyatta National Hospital.

After waiting for two days before they could get a hospital bed at the national hospital, doctors at Gatundu advised the family to seek an alternative to avoid the deterioration of his condition.

After a thorough search, medics at Thika Level Five hospital where the boy got the CT scan services helped the impoverished family arrive at Luton hospital which immediately admitted the boy who has undergone a series of treatments.

The boy has been responding well to treatment and has been discharged but cannot be released due to the pending bill of Sh 250,000, money that the poor family only sees in dreams.

According to Josephine Munga, the mother who has been surviving on hawking kales and tomatoes, paying the huge amount of money has proved to be a daunting task to her and the family.

“This has been giving me sleepless nights given that I hawk kales and tomatoes sometimes, even having Sh 1,000 in my pocket is now a dream and with all that is required of me, I feel disturbed,” said Munga.

The mother of three has only been visiting her son when very necessary to avert the further accumulation of the bill.

Speaking at her single-roomed rental house, the mother said she has tried all manner of ways including fundraising through door-to-door means but has not managed to raise the money.

Joseph Ng’ang’a, the father, shared the same sentiments saying the family cannot raise the required amounts owing to their low-economic status.

“We are trying to raise funds but we have not gone even an inch. This is a mountain we cannot level in our capacity,” said Ng’ang’a.

Anne Muthoni, a friend of the family said that they have only been helping them with food but cannot be able to raise huge amounts of money and called on well-wishers to help clear the bill to wipe the endless tears of the family.

To support the release of Munga from the hospital, well-wishers can channel their financial support to her mother Josephine Munga through her phone number 0798899279.

The detention of patients by hospitals over unpaid hospital bills has become a very common phenomenon. Hospitals justify this practice on the basis that once they release patients it is impossible to follow up on the unpaid bills.

This phenomenon is a true depiction of the sad effects of the ever-escalating cost of medical services combined with the dwindling financial fortunes of the average Kenyan.

Traditionally, Kenyans unable to meet the high cost of medical services offered to their kith and kin often resort to fundraising within their social circles.

Until recently, many Kenyans had accepted that hospitals are entitled to detain patients who do not or cannot pay the bills incurred in the course of their treatment.

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