Challenges Kenyan Patients Referred To Hospitals Abroad Face


Duncan Miheso could not imagine having to stay in a foreign country for more than a few weeks if not on work related trips or while on holiday.

However, this happened last year when he travelled to India as an organ donor for his sister who was to undergo a kidney transplant.

“Everything had been set by the time we left Kenya for her surgery but when we got there, the doctors had to do various tests before the surgery day,” he told the Business Daily. It is during the tests that doctors diagnosed a condition which his sister had lived with without knowing.

The doctors discovered a hole in her heart also known as ventricular septal defect or atrial septal defect, where one is born with the defect.

This came as a surprise to both doctors and the 40-year-old mother of three since she did not have prior problems pointing to the heart condition.

As fate would have it the condition needed to be treated first before undergoing a kidney transplant. This meant that Miheso would have to extend his stay until his sister recovered and ready for the other surgery.

“Doctors had scheduled her next surgery two months after the heart surgery, giving her that time to recover,” he says.
She, however, developed complications soon after the heart surgery due to a blood infection leading to her slipping into a coma for 49 days.

This was a setback for Miheso and his family who had to come up with additional money to pay for the treatment she was receiving at the hospital, which they had not anticipated.

Survival in foreign land

During this time, Miheso lived in a single room furnished hostel near the hospital which cost Sh2,000 a day in rent. This was one of the cheaper hostels as there were those going for Sh5,000 per day.

In the meantime, Miheso had informed his employer of the developments in India. The employer was kind enough to grant him paid leave for the 11 months he was in India.

He found his way around the city, especially markets that sold groceries he was familiar with because he used to cook for himself at the hostel.

“I had already gotten used to the life in India and had established some of the places to get good bargains when it came to food and accommodation,” says Miheso, adding that most Kenyans, who at the time went to India as organ donors, would often refer others to him if they needed help.


Source: Business Daily


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