By Standard Team
Across the country the sick lay on benches or near empty wards, groaning in pain, abandoned by the Government and doctors.
Many more suffered silently at home, grappling with pain, but could not reach hospitals because there is none functioning, except the pocket-drilling private institutions, most of which exist solely for profit. At home their children loitered around, unsure of what the future holds because the primary and secondary school teachers, or lecturers in the case of universities have abandoned them.
Then when they thought the protracted Government negotiations with trade unions are about to bear fruits and set them free from neglect, the Government drops the bombshell: It is broke and the talks may just have been a tactic to buy time.
That was the state of the country’s public schools, universities, and hospitals yesterday.
But flipping the coin the other way, one finds the private schools, universities, and hospitals, which are the preserve of the endowed class thriving. Their sick are getting treatment in private hospitals, and their children are learning uninterrupted in private schools and universities.
In Kisumu, for example, patients waited for over hours unassisted. Julia Anyango, 29, a patient at the maternity ward grappling with labour pains, could not find a doctor to attend to her at about midday. She had been on the queue for over eight hours.
This completes the state of affairs in Kenya, which over the past two weeks has turned two nations in one – one for the poor where life is at a standstill, and another for the rich, where life goes on as if nothing has happened.
So grave is the situation that when yesterday the Cabinet sub-committee set up to address the issue of strikes, proposed that exams due in November be postponed, some asked if private institutions could as well have their own.
Why? Again because of the fact that there are two nations in one, at war with each other and with contradicting priorities and fortunes, or is it misfortunes?
But even more unsettling was the fact that the proposal means next year’s school and university calendars could be disrupted, including new admissions.
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