We’re fundraising for healthcare because of government neglect


If you happen to chance on the Nation website and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, you will see something that has become, unfortunately, pretty common this year.

No, it isn’t some politician refusing to apologise for hate speech or even another denying responsibility for a procurement scandal.

It isn’t even another report on a game Chelsea lost. There is a banner with Janet Kanini-Ikua’s face on it. Next to her face is written, “One Nation For Janet”.

We have been one for many things lately, and thankfully. Janet has cancer and is receiving treatment in India as we speak. She needs help with her bill.

A few weeks ago, there was another cancer case that Owaah wrote about on his blog, Too Late For Worms. Then a few weeks before that, there was Jadudi.

Next week, there will be something else.


The bad thing about these campaigns is the drama that always comes after them. Remember “Kenyans for Kenya” and the disillusionment that came with allegations that the maize handed out to starving people was rotten?

Then, of course, the Twitter blowout over whether proper attributions were made in the Jadudi case, and what exactly happened to the money and who else contributed.

When people give out of the kindness of their hearts, something always goes wrong.

Janet’s case, of course, has the backing of several sponsors – which is always a good thing for accountability and such.

The concert they are holding in her honour is sure to be successful and bring her back home.

The only problem I see with this is that, through no fault of her own, we allow the government to continue being lax with the services they offer Kenyans, and to be honest, we’ve heard about big-name partners before.

Bring Zack Back Home was an initiative that was supposed to bring awareness to spinal health problems as Zack wheeled himself to South Africa, but the sponsors and media attention dried out shortly after he got to Kajiado.

But in what country does a man with a wheelchair have to threaten to make a cross-continental trek just to get help?

This one.

Our healthcare has been proven, time and time again, to be flawed, and underpaid, overworked medical personnel will definitely make mistakes. But no one cares enough to pay people until they go on strike.

Why does it always have to get there? Pay people what you owe them, commensurate with the value of their work. It really is not that hard!

The systems that exist as of now almost guarantee that if you are sick and poor, you will die.

We don’t have affordable healthcare or compulsory care, for that matter – both for patients and doctors. Most private hospitals will not treat you if you can’t pay immediately, even though they are required, by oath, to not cause harm.

The system is broken and no one cares to fix it. So every time someone gets seriously sick, money has to be raised, but how about those who have no money?

How long will we have to do this? How long will Kenyans have to stand for each other, when we voted specifically so that the government stands for us all?