Millicent Maguke – update September 2017
Millicent is the wonderful lady who, along with her husband Eric, is the inspiration and driving force behind Pamoja’s work in the Magina area. She is a person of great energy, ideas and passion, and has given her life to serve the Lord by helping the poor people in the place where she lives.
In the Spring of this year, following conversations describing her symptoms with people in UK, she was diagnosed with a serious heart problem. She had chest pain and was lacking in energy. She was not able to get a satisfactory diagnosis or treatment at any hospital in Kisumu, near her home, so she made the long road trip to Nairobi (where some of her family live) where eventually she had an angiogram that showed arteries around her heart were blocked, and she needed an urgent by-pass operation.
In Kenya, there is a NHIF (National Health Insurance Fund): Pamoja has paid into this for its workers for many years. NHIF paid for the angiogram, and following Millicent’s diagnosis, the hospital (eventually) wrote a letter to them to ask for funding for the necessary operation. Nothing was heard for two or three weeks, then the election came along and the country went into paralysis. After the election, Millicent enquired again, only to be told that they were ‘auditing’. We then read a report in the Kenyan press that NHIF were becoming more cautious about paying for treatment because of many alleged false claims by hospitals. Last week (8th September) Millicent once again travelled to Nairobi to find out what was happening, only to be told that the final word was that NHIF was NOT paying for heart operations. Millicent is already paying for drugs to alleviate her symptoms, which cost around £150 per month.
Millicent is unfortunate to live in a country where, unlike UK, health treatment depends on your ability to pay. However, she is fortunate compared to many Kenyans in that she has family who are concerned and involved in this situation: they are at present fundraising to send her to India, where the operation will be cheaper and where they believe she may well receive better care than she would in Kenya. The cost of this will be in the region of £7,000, plus another £1,000 for air fares. This is about half the cost of the operation in Kenya.
We are posting this update so that you are aware of the situation and can pray. Also, if you feel you are able to give specifically towards Millicent’s operation, please do so via any of the methods described on the Pamoja website (www.pamojacharity.org), making it clear that your gift is for Millicent. You may wish to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org too in order to make Pamoja Trustees aware of your intentions. We are intending to transfer money to Kenya at the end of September so Millicent can, God willing, plan to have her operation as soon as possible.
We know Millicent is most grateful for everyone’s concern and prayers for her. In the end, everything is in the Lord’s hands: praying is the very best thing you can do. Thank you.
Sue & Richard Stannard