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Family appealing for help to bury kin whose body is detained over sh. 40m bill.

A portrait of the Late Grace Mungai formally a teacher at the Thika School for the Blind.

A family in Thika is appealing to the authorities to intervene in order to secure the body of their kin which has been detained in a private hospital over a Ksh. 40 million hospital bill.

54-year old Grace Mungai ‘s body has been held  Nairobi West Hospital who are demanding  for clearance of the bill accrued after  she lost the battle to beat a strange neural disease for the last 17 months. 

Grace, who was a teacher at the Thika School for the Blind for close to 30 years died on Wednesday last week after battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) which left the family financially drained and unable to raise any more money. 

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is motor neuron disease that wastes the victim’s muscles and eats into the nerves with no known cure and no effective treatment to halt or reverse the progression of the disease. 

According to the deceased’s husband Joseph Mungai Kariha , the hospital is now demanding for 80% cash and 20% Security in order to release the body for burial. 

A distraught husband said that the family is physically, emotionally and financially drained and cannot raise anything else as they have exhausted all avenues of raising funds for the last 17 months and have already paid the hospital over Sh 2.5 million cash. 

“We have paid the hospital Sh. 2.5 million cash, the AON Insurance has paid  Sh. 1.6 million and the NHIF has also paid in Sh. 500,000 notwithstanding other undertakings that family and friends have put in for the last 17 months when my wife was in the ICU.” lamented Kariha. 

“We are appealing for the Hospital to release the body for burial since we honestly cannot afford any more money and holding the body in the mortuary any further will only accrue further charges.”

Grace was admitted at the hospital in August 2017 when  doctors in public hospitals were on strike and attempts to have her transferred to Kenyatta Hospital later on were futile. 

“We travelled to China in March 2018 to seek for alternative mode of treatment as there is only one drug that is currently used to treat patients with ALS and it cost over Sh 240,000 a dose but we had to come back after 2 months after our medical Visa expired, he added.

Her son, 24-year old Cendrick  Mungai appealed to her  employer , TSC and the national government to intervene and ask  the hospital to release her body so that we can accord her a decent burial.

Thika Branch KNUT Executive Secretary Joe Ngige Mungai  said that teachers were under an umbrella Insurer AON which had allocated Nairobi West as a service provider for their clients but has only been able to pay Sh 1.6 Million in this case. 

He recommended that  that Insurance cover for teachers should revert to NHIF so that in an event of a case like the one in question a teacher can be able to access quality health care from a public Hospital. 

“We are going to appeal to other teachers under the KNUT’s umbrella to come together and redeem their colleague’s body which  is still laying at Nairobi West Hospital Mortuary, hoping that our appeal with be adhered to,” he said. 

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