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KNH denies claims to 'kick out' Mandera attack patients over payment

NAIROBI
By Graham Kajilwa | December 27th 2015

NAIROBI, KENYA: The Government has denied claims that Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) was bound to kick out victims of the ill-fated Mandera bus attack over payment.
Newly appointed Cabinet Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Dr Cleopa Mailu on Sunday refuted the claims, insisting that is not how the country's largest referral hospital operates.
Instead, the CS said the government will foot the bills of the two patients.
"KNH has a small kitty from which it can draw some cash. However, if this becomes overwhelming then the bill will be forwarded to the central government, "said Dr Mailu after visiting the patients.
Mailu was responding to allegations doing rounds on social media that spelt doom for the two patients who were admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
According to the lobbying spearheaded by Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow on twitter, the two patients- a 16 year old form four student and a teacher at Mandera County Primary School- needed help in paying the bills in order to continue receiving treatment after being admitted on December 22.
"The issue that KNH was going to switch off the life support machines is untrue. It is not ethical to deny a patient care whether in a public or private health institution because of payment. Treat the patient then claim later," Mailu said.
Currently, the student -Abdi Rashid- is the one still in the ICU while Salah Farah, the teacher has been transferred to the ward after undergoing two surgeries to remove a bullet lodged in his lower abdomen that paralyzed his hips.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Farah said he was still in pain but grateful of the treatment he is being given at the health institution.

"Some of my relatives have visited me here and I hope to get well soon and return to work when schools open in January," he said who doctors managed to remove a bullet that was lodged in his body.

He had to undergo a hip surgery for the bullet to be removed.

Farah was heading back to his station of work from studies at the Masai Mara University when he encountered the attack by the Al-Shabaab militia in Mandera.

A doctor at the facility explained to the CS that Rashid who is still fighting for his life at the ICU had a spine injury.

"The injury is severe on the lower part of the spine but he is responding well to treatment," the doctor said.

KNH Chief Executive Officer Lily Koros confirmed that Rashid is expected to be moved to the ward as his condition is said to be improving progressively: "No patient will be discharged to go home if they have not fully recovered. In terms of money, we cannot estimate how much it will have amounted to but that will be taken care of."

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