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Stressed man kills himself over Sh12,000 hospital bill

A distraught 23-year-old man who could not raise Sh12,000 needed to enable his wife and pre-term baby access specialised treatment at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret reportedly hanged himself.

Bernard Kimosop of Koibaben village in Elgeyo Marakwet county was allegedly distressed that he could not transfer his wife and their prematurely born baby for specialised care.

Confirming the incident, Marakwet West OCPD Mathews Mangira said the man had informed his father that his wife had given birth prematurely and needed to be referred to MTRH for the baby to get proper care in a nursery.

And according to villagers, Kimosop was deeply stressed over the development and his dire circumstances and even hinted that he was mulling ending his life. Subsequently, neighbours found his body dangling from a tree and informed police who took it to AIC Kapsowar Mission Hospital mortuary.

A villager, Pamela Chepkok, described Kimosop family’s financial circumstances as strained and that affording Sh12,000 was out of the question.

“He confessed to some villagers he was contemplating committing suicide because he could not withstand the agony of watching his wife and pre-term baby die as a result of his inability to raise money,” said Chepkok.

Contacted, MTRH chief executive Dr John Kibosia said they were not aware of Kimosop’s case, but promised to investigate it. “We shall investigate the issue to determine the accuracy of the information before we can issue a statement.

But if it is true that the man killed himself because of being unable to raise the money, then it is unfortunate,” he said on the phone. The tragedy comes at a time when the health sector is in the spotlight over a myriad of shortfalls occasioned by deficiency in facilities, infrastructure, standoff between National and County governments, and restless medical and paramedical staff.

Last week, a road accident victim reportedly died after spending 18 hours in an ambulance because some private hospitals would not admit him before Sh200,000 deposit was paid.

Officials of the country’s main referral facility—Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)—which admits over 2,500 patients daily said it could not immediately admit Alex Madaga because all the 21 beds against 125 required in its Intensive Care Unit were occupied.

Madaga had also been rushed to Kikuyu Mission hospital and Nairobi Women’s hospital where he could not be admitted due to lack of ICU facilities. But Coptic Hospital along Ngong road and Pangani-based Ladnan Hospital allegedly denied him admission because the requisite Sh200,000 was not available.

And yesterday, the senators gave the chairman of the Senate Health committee Mohamed Kuti two weeks to inform the House reasons why Madaga, who died on Sunday, was denied free emergency care as stipulated in the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Homa Bay County Commissioner Kassim Farah has decried the rising cases of suicide in the area. He said reports of suicide related to domestic conflicts have become alarming and urged religious leaders take the initiative of counseling members of their congregations.

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