Random Thoughts on Kenyan Life
My mind was so adrift I couldn’t hear my phone ring.
It had been a long ride to work due to the traffic and I couldn’t help myself but drift into my small world. It’s always filled with different issues, which made it easy for me to choose what to think of, or at least all at a time.
I couldn’t help myself but notice how our roads are constantly in a bad state during the rainy season, only to be patched up one place at a time. Really, what kind of a person thinks like that?
I think it would be easy to do the whole road and save the government the headache of having to do it every time the rains come. Is it that no government official has ever passed through Getathuru road? The road is so slender and the pavement potholes have so much extended towards the road leaving one with the option of hitting the pot holes so hard for poor approximation of the oncoming vehicle as you try to avoid them or either be a jack ass and make the oncoming vehicle screech to a stop as you sway to their side.
My thoughts were cut short by the sound of Maina and Churchill as they hilariously briefed how a woman in Kisii gave birth to quadruplets. “I didn’t know I was carrying four kids. I just saw baby number one, two, three and on the fourth baby I just screamed aki Mungu wangu! I just remembered my small house and I didn’t know what to do.” Maina tried to quote the mother. “There’s someone in Runda who is trying so hard to get a baby while a mother living in a single room has five kids bila hata kujaribu!” Churchill interjected. That’s the irony of life.
This got me thinking of how Kenyans in different areas of the country are not able to access prenatal care. At least she would have been prepared psychologically and benefited from other vital services. Why? Is it due to the fact that some of them don’t see the need of getting these services? Or is it due to the fact that they can’t access the services despite them wanting? Oh, this reminds me why as a country we are still having challenges in achieving Zero pediatric HIV infections. How are we supposed to achieve the Aids Free generation if we are not able to promote prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and capture all the mothers in their prenatal period? As a country we are far from achieving this unless something is done…fast.
This threw me off to the beyond Zero campaign passionately championed by our First lady. At least someone has the mothers and the future of this country in mind. But how effective and sustainable is this project? I wondered. I’ve had the opportunity to work -for a day- on the said project and my thoughts on this are not what any Kenyan would want to hear. As far as we all appreciate the effort our First lady has put on this project, not forgetting the time and the training she had to endure in order to run the marathon, I would term this project a failure.
First of all, no permanent medical staff are assigned to this project. So all they do is outsource staff from various facilities – those on off duty to be precise- to work for a day or two when the mobile clinic is assigned to their area. Secondly, as we all know, it’s a mobile clinic, this means it does not have space for examinations or a sterile environment to perform the procedures the staff are mandated to provide while in the field. Anyway, on the plus side, at least the clinic is equipped with medication for the children and vital multi vitamins for the pregnant mother. Can’t help myself to wonder how far the project would have gone if the government officials did not loot the money mama and other dedicated members of the public worked hard to raise.
Also Read: DECIPHER: Africa Must Wake Up
The men in blue caught my eyes. How many hours again do they work? Actually, these men (and ladies) are always on call. They work all day and night to ensure that we are all safe but they do not get enough credit. Not that they are looking for any. Actually a friend of mine once told me that their vigorous training equips them to respond to emergencies and call at any time. Can you wake up in the middle of the night and go to a scene without complaining that you haven’t had enough sleep? Policemen do.
They wake up and go to wherever their bosses tell them to, no questions asked –as long as si kwa kichinjio. And I thought to myself, me? The sleepy me? You’ll have to call me thrice before I carry my lazy self out of the bed and I’ll do that complaining. They honestly do a good job and we need to cut them some slack. Yes, I said it! Cut them some slack. Their pay packages are so pathetic that they resort to take a few coins from the ever rule-breaking matatus. And no, I am not promoting corruption or harassment by the police. Actually… –phone rings.
Oh, shit. It was 8:00 A.M. I was already late and Ruth was calling probably to check how far I was. Should I lie? Or perhaps….”hello?” I answered the phone. “Hi, it’s Ruth. You were to come in today? How far are you?” she asked. “I’m in town and I’ll be there in 20 minutes.” I replied. “Ok, let me know when you are here.” She said as she hanged up. Technically I did not lie, I was still in the matatu but in town, I tried to console myself. Ok, I ubered from town because I did not have time to walk all the way to Ambassador to connect to Landmark Plaza.