MOTHER'S AGONY

Covid-19: Sad tale of a mentally challenged lady neglected at KMTC

Lady often seen sitting alone and at times soils her clothes.

In Summary

• The mother who currently lives with some of her relatives in Nakuru noted that she has been sending her daughter and son,

• But she noted that they were told to buy some medicine to take for her daughter during her quarantine period there.

The woman seated at the KMTC block.
The woman seated at the KMTC block.
Image: COURTESY

How will you feel when you see your child struggling mentally and without any care?

These were the sorrowful words of a Kenyan mother who said that her daughter is not being cared for at one of the government's quarantine facility at the Kenya Medical Training College.

Her daughter arrived from Dubai on Monday via the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

 
 
 

“I was there to receive her at the airport but when I looked at her she was not fine. She looked disturbed,” the mother says.

Speaking to the Star on Monday, the mother notes that she knew the state in which her daughter was in since she had received earlier calls from her fellow workers in Dubai.

“They called me and said that she was sick and admitted to the hospital. She did not have any clothes on and nobody was taking care of her,” the mother said.

The woman sleeping in the corridor at KMTC./COURTESY
The woman sleeping in the corridor at KMTC./COURTESY

Crying at the thought of this, the mother said that the lady who called her from Dubai also noted that they were being mistreated in the company that they were working for but she did not mention the company.

“She told me that they were only four Kenyans who were working at that company. They were working as cleaners and they were being mistreated,” the mother said.

This made her call the agent who took her daughter to Dubai and asked her what was happening with her daughter.

“The agent just brushed me off and claimed that I was lying about the whole ordeal. In fact, she claimed that my daughter was pretending and that she was being accused of breaking things at the company,” she says.

 
 

But she did not stop at this. Later that day, she received another call from a doctor in Dubai saying that her daughter was unwell and needed support from the family.

“So the doctor gave my baby the phone and she just said to me ‘nakuja mama, nakuja mama’… these words broke my heart,” the mother said amid tears.

Wiping her tears with a white handkerchief, she realised that she had to send her daughter a ticket back home.

“At that moment, I knew that I had to send her a ticket to come back to Kenya. This, I did almost immediately because I could not see my baby suffering anymore,” the mother narrates.

The woman at KMTC./COURTESY
The woman at KMTC./COURTESY

The mother who hails from Mombasa noted that upon her arrival at the JKIA, her daughter was taken to KMTC one of the facilities passengers are taken for a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

So far Kenya has 50 confirmed coronavirus cases with one fatality. Globally, the number of deaths have hit over 34,000 with over 750,000 confirmed positive Covid-19 cases.

In Kenya, all those who land at the JKIA are taken to mandatory quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to go back home.

“At KMTC I pleaded with the authorities to allow me to take care of my child but they refused. So right now I was called by some good Samaritans who said that she was sleeping in the corridors,” the mother added.

“Why is the government refusing to let her go? I can take care of her, after all, she is my daughter. Will I wait until the 14 days are gone? Please, let the government help me,” she pleaded.

NO MEDICINE?

The mother who currently lives with some of her relatives in Nakuru noted that she has been sending her daughter and son to visit her.

"They have been visiting her but they are being denied access to her. They need to allow them. Let them be given some proper clothing before meeting her," she said.

"I cannot visit her because of my age. My daughter is afraid that in case the virus is out there I might not survive it. So I am just here in Nakuru waiting for her before we go back  to Mombasa."

But she noted that they were told to buy some medicine to take for her daughter during her quarantine period there.

“So I bought some painkillers and gave my daughter and son to take to her at KMTC. The problem is, we do not know what we are treating,” she said.

The mother notes that they have taken painkillers countless times to the child but there have not been any improvement whatsoever.

“Even on Monday, we bought medicines. Some Panadol to take to her. Does it mean that there is no medication there?” she painfully narrates.

“And why tell us to come with medicine, can't they just treat her and tell us what medication is required then we will buy than telling us to come with painkillers?”

Pictures seen by the Star indicate that the lady just seats alone and at times soils her clothes without any care from the health workers.

In one of the videos seen, the daughter was seen lying down with people at the facility arguing over what to do with her.

WE TRIED

Speaking to one of the good samaritan, Margaret* notes that she saw the lady disturbed when they arrived at the JKIA on Monday last week.

“I was with her at the airport and we tried helping her before calling an ambulance. The ambulance came but it’s like they only gave her painkillers then later left,” she said.

Margaret notes that the second day when they arrived at the KMTC they saw the lady again.

“I saw her in the same condition and asked the nurses to give her a room which they did but the next day I saw her lying in the corridors,” she said.

“We don’t know what she is suffering from, it’s bad, really bad.”

She noted that the girl has been spending her nights sleeping in the corridors with no one to take care of her.

“She did not sleep the whole night yesterday. I saw her at breakfast and the same clothes that she had the previous day were still the same. It is terrible and horrible, this lady needs help, she needs somebody to take care of her not dumping her here,” she said.

Another lady who was helping her noted that she talked to the daughter and she seemed depressed.

“I have talked to her. I think depression began in Dubai because her employer was mistreating her even denying her food. She is traumatized. Right now she is uncontrollable, and the government has refused to release her to her parents and no one is monitoring her,” Margaret said.

Speaking to director-general at Ministry of Health Patrick Amoth on Monday, he notes that there are doctors at the facility who take care of patients.

But he noted that he has to contact a doctor Nzioka at the facility.

“I am yet to call the doctor for an update. I cannot give you his number, I will just call him,” he told the Star on Tuesday.

During a show on Citizen on Monday Night, Amoth claimed that the government was taking care of vulnerable people during this outbreak.

“Anybody with unique needs will be taken care of by the government even if it is the doctors themselves,” he said.