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Two Kenyans held in India over kin’s Sh2m hospital bill

Tuesday January 8 2019

Ms Jerusha Wanjiku

Ms Jerusha Wanjiku with her son Ian Kariuki in a photo taken earlier in Nairobi. He son died in India where he was receiving treatment for stomach and now Ms Wanjiku and her mother, Martha Kabura, have been detained in a due to a Sh2 million unpaid bill. PHOTO | FAMILY ALBUM 

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A mother and her daughter who hail from Murang’a County are stuck in India after a hospital declined to release their travel documents until they pay a bill amounting to Sh2 million.

Ms Martha Kabura, 58, had accompanied her daughter Jerusha Wanjiru, who had taken her six-year-old son Ian Kariuki three weeks ago to Rainbow Children's Hospital in Hyderabad, India for treatment but he died a week ago while receiving treatment.

The boy who was suffering from stomach cancer was referred to India by MP Shah Hospital but he died on December 29, 2018 leaving behind a bill of Sh2 million including mortuary fees.

He was a pupil at St Bakhita School in Nairobi.


Ms Elizabeth Wanjiru, a family member who is in Kenya, said her mother and sister had their passports seized by the hospital and are now living in a rented single room in India for which they pay Sh3,000 daily.

Ms Wanjiru added that the two are also facing communication difficulties due to language barriers and have to use gestures signs to communicate with locals in order to get food and other daily services.

"We are now praying for my mother and my sister for God's intervention since we have exhausted all what we had saved. On top of the hospital bill in India we still have other bills at the Agha Khan Hospital, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital and MP Shah Hospital," Ms Wanjiru told the Nation.

She said in order to clear all the bills, the family requires Sh6 million.


She said the family has depleted it savings and also sold property as they sought treatment for the boy.

"We had hoped that the child would regain his health and continue with his education and inspire many people but God had other plans. My mother and sister are now living in fear of the unknown as they are not sure that we shall raise the hospital bill.

"Their hopes are dying by the day and we don't know what to do next," she said.

Ms Wanjiru has called on government to intervene and help her family get back to Kenya and prepare a decent send off for their son.

Worshipers at ACK St Stephen Mukuyu have organised a fundraiser in a bid to bail out the devastated family.

Rev Peter Macharia said the family has been supportive of the church despite their difficult situation.

"I urge leaders and well-wishers to chip in and help the family which is mourning and wondering whether they will see their country again due to the huge bill," he said.