Clinical Medicine student offers to sell kidney to raise college fees

Michael Muruthi Wanjohi, a second year student pursuing a diploma in clinical medicine and surgery at Kenya Medical Training College, Embu Campus. [Joseph Muchiri/Standard]
A student at the Kenya Medical Training College, Embu Campus has put up his kidney for sale to be able to raise college fees.

Michael Muruthi Wanjohi resolved to sell a body organ after the college barred him from continuing with his training and examinations unless he settles fees arrears totaling to Sh67,700.

He’s looking for a person who will offer adequate money to offset the fees arrears and pay his fees for remaining years at KMTC and later for a degree course in university.

The 22-year-old second year diploma in Clinical Medicine and Surgery student wants nothing to dim his life dream of becoming a medic, hence his sudden decision.

Muruthi who hails from a poor background in Githakwa village, Tetu constituency, Nyeri County says he has tried applying for bursaries, approaching potential well-wishers and even organizing a fundraiser, but in vain.

He is the only boy in his family and has three sisters.

He adds that his single mother cannot afford to pay the fee arrears. “We don’t have any property to sell to raise money. My mother works as a casual worker in tea plantations and lives in a rented room,” he says.

He reveals that he qualified for the Nyeri County Government bursary of Sh10,000 and another from Tetu CDF of Sh3,000, which marginally reduced the fees required.

The alumni of Kiriti High School scored a B- in the 2014 KCSE but failed to attain the cut-off point for admission to university on government sponsorship.

Determined to pursue a career in medicine, he sought employment at a Nyeri hotel and later in Embu County where he saved Sh67,000 that he used to enroll to KMTC in September 2017.

The money paid for his first semester fees and his accommodation. But during the second semester, he struggled to pay fees and was left with arrears which accumulated with the second year’s fees.

He says this year he has been in college for only three weeks and only dropped out because even getting meals was a problem. “I have been surviving as a casual laborer on construction sites where I earn Sh350 in a day. I put up at a room belonging to another student,” he says.

Muruthi says from his medical classes, he learnt that one can survive on one kidney and he is ready to take that route by selling one.

“If a doctor approves that I’m compatible with the buyer, I’ll go ahead, sell it and have it harvested from me. I’ll have helped save the recipient’s life while getting a chance to complete my studies and thus be in a position to help the community as a medic,” he argues.

Aware of the risks associated with donating a kidney and the ethical issues of selling a body organ, Muruthi avers that he can discard the idea if a well-wisher comes to his rescue.

He says he consulted a lecturer at the college and a nephrologist at an Embu hospital and they both discouraged him.

“The nephrologist told me the procedure could be carried out as long as I donate the kidney willingly. He told me it would be better if I use other means to raise the money as opposed to selling my kidney because I may develop kidney problems in future and also need a donation,” he says.

Muruthi says he has discussed the issue with his mother who was shocked at the idea, but did not have an alternative.

KMTC Embu campus Principal D.K Siabei in a letter dated February 12, appealed to concerned persons to accord Muruthi any assistance as he is in dire need of school fees.

The college charges a fees of Sh78,000 for the second year of study. The course duration is three years.

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Kidney saleFees arrearsMichael Muruthi Wanjohi