BURIAL SET FOR TUESDAY

Embu family gets daughter's body after KNH waives bill

Mwende lost her life after spending five days in ICU, accumulating a Sh200,000 bill

In Summary

• “We received a phone call from a KNH worker who informed us that after discussions they have waived Mwende’s hospital bill,” Njoki, Mwende’s aunt said.

• “I’ve been worried about what would happen to Mwende’s body since Sh200,000 seemed unachievable to me,” Mwende's mother, Dorothy Mbura said.

10-year-old Hellen Mwende who's body was stuck at Kenyatta National Hospital.
DECEASED: 10-year-old Hellen Mwende who's body was stuck at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Image: BENJAMIN NYAGAH

A family in Embu is relieved after KNH waved their Sh200,000 bill which barred them from burying their 10-year-old daughter.

Hellen Mwende lost her life after spending five days in Intensive Care Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

The family was told they could only access their Grade 5 daughter’s body once they cleared her bill.

Speaking to The Star newspaper on Wednesday, the family through Mwende’s aunt Purity Njoki said they pleaded with well-wishers to intervene and see the hospital release their daughter’s body.

On Friday evening, the family received the news from KNH giving them the green light to pick their body for burial.

Peter Ireri and Dorothy Mbura, Mwende's parents at their home on Wednesday, January 5.
BURIAL SET FOR TUESDAY: Peter Ireri and Dorothy Mbura, Mwende's parents at their home on Wednesday, January 5.
Image: BENJAMIN NYAGAH

“We received a phone call from a KNH worker who informed us that after discussions they have waived Mwende’s hospital bill.

"It was unbelievable since no one thought the institution would come up with such a kind decision,” Njoki said.

“We lack words to express our gratitude. All we can say is that we are thankful for their mercy. We can now lay Mwende to rest something we never imagined could happen any time soon,” she added.

Mwende’s mother Dorothy Mbura said she can now have a sense of relieve.

“I’ve been worried about what would happen to Mwende’s body since Sh200,000 seemed unachievable to me. I thank God, KNH and friends who supported us this far,” Mbura said.

Mwende’s father Peter Ireri said his biggest concern is to give her daughter a decent send-off which was challenged by the hospital bill.

He said as a family they didn’t have the ability to raise the amount and receiving the news that they can pick their daughter’s body for burial was an answered prayer.

Hellen Mwende during a past school day out.
DECENT SEND-OFF: Hellen Mwende during a past school day out.
Image: BENJAMIN NYAGAH

“I have been wishing hard to get access of Mwende’s body for burial. We would have spent years trying to raise the amount. I am grateful and I am looking forward to laying my daughter to rest soon,” Ireri said.

Kathunguri Primary School head teacher Catherine Wanja urged the government under Education ministry to set up special health financing programmes to cater for pupils.

“If we had such a programme we would not be facing these challenges because people are abled differently and not everyone can access the health security.

"I would urge the government to secure our school going pupil’s health to avoid going through such agony,” she said.

The body was on Saturday ferried to the nearby Consolata Hospital Kyeni mortuary as burial preparations continue at their home at Kathunguri in Embu East.

The burial is set for Wednesday.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)