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Busia County pays Sh42m to victims of toxic malaria jab

Sunday April 5 2020

GAITANO PESSA
By GAITANO PESSA
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For about five years, parents of 28 children who were injected with a toxic jab at Akichelesit Dispensary in Teso North Constituency, Busia County have cried for justice after their sons and daughters were paralysed.

The malaria jab administered in 2015 left the 28 with different levels of paralysis that affected both their upper and lower limbs, forcing the parents to seek justice at the High Court in Busia.

The court ruled in favour of the victims on December 19, 2017, ordering that they be compensated.

RELIEF FOR FAMILIES

Though it has been a long and torturous process coupled with several demonstrations, the families can now breathe a sigh of relief after the county government on Friday honoured the court order to give them Sh42.88 million as compensation. The money will be awarded to the victims depending on the level of injury suffered.

The victims suffered permanent physical disability of between five and 20 per cent.

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Speaking at the county health offices while handing over the cheque to lawyer Bernard Ombui who represented the families, Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi said the victims will receive an additional Sh19.12 million in the next financial year.

VICTIMS' ACCOUNTS

“I urge Mr Ombui to ensure over 70 per cent of the amount goes to victims' personal accounts with the balance channelled to parents to carter for the children’s upkeep and education,” he said.

Mr Mulomi, who is also the acting county Health executive, revealed that 17 children suffered minor injuries, five suffered 20 per cent disability, one 10 per cent and the last one five per cent.

The parents' representative Mathew Edajai said although it has been a long journey, they are happy the county has finally honoured the court ruling.

“We are happy the county has fulfilled part of the bargain after heeding to our cry on behalf of our children. We will remain patient for the final instalment,” said Mr Edajai.

Mr Ombui promised to ensure transparency prevails in the disbursement of the funds to ensure the children’s needs are given priority.

“The funds will be disbursed accordingly to affected children and family members,” he said.