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‘I was going to lose my kidney, but the medics strike saved it’

Just like the proverbial cat, Charity Wairimui, 46, has nine lives. For a woman who was to go under the knife to save her “failing” kidneys, she now sees the recent doctors and teachers’ strike—that cut short a schedule operation at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital— as a blessing in disguise.

Wairimu had visited the hospital, the biggest referral facility in the region, after she developed a slight walking problem around March this year.

The medicine given to her saw no significant changes on her condition with new drugs prescribed every week without further tests. She had to visit the hospital after every 7-10 days for further tests.

Later, abdominal ultra-sound scan conducted on her showed she had a kidney infection that had to be addressed immediately.

Doctors said the infection would soon attack the second kidney if she was not operated on to remove the infected one in time and save the healthy one. The operation, which was slated for this month , failed due to the medics’ strike.

She, however, is grateful because of the strike which saved her kidney after a new medical report from the Karen Hospital gave her kidneys a clean bill of health. Wairimu, forced by the magnitude of the PGH report urgently sought medical attention at Karen Hospital in Nairobi.

Fresh diagnostic tests on her indicated that she had a spinal problem where the spine had injured some of her nerves causing her the excruciating pain. A report by Dr B Bwombuna who did a CT scan on her showed none of her internal organs had a defect as reported earlier.

“Normal contrast enhanced CT examination of the abdomen and pelvis show no obvious radiological evidence of malignancy,” the report reads. The doctors at Karen Hospital , however, had to carry further tests on her kidney to verify the report which later proved her organs were healthy.

Her legs are responding well to the newly-prescribed medicine though the incorrect medication is causing harmful side effects. The mother of three who is a vegetables vendor in Nakuru has since lost her source of income because she has difficulty walking.

“It has been hard for me to fend for my family because I can’t go to the market anymore ,” she says. Wanjiru is bitter with doctors at the PGH for acting unprofessionally and making wrong diagnosis on her condition which has caused her more pain and suffering.

“People go to hospital to get treatment. But the doctors at PGH have caused me new health complications,” she says. The incorrect diagnosis has caused her more than Sh100,000 and this figure is set to go up as the wrong drugs still in her body have to be flushed out to avert the negative side effects on her right leg.

“The hospital has claimed a lot from my pocket. Further, it has taken away my ability to earn a living,” says a visibly helpless Wairimu. She says she will soon seek justice for what she terms “gross carelessness by the medical practitioners.”

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