There is shock and pain at the Kenyatta National Hospital’s Children Cancer Ward. This is because drugs for children receiving treatment have run out, leaving the kids exposed and at risk of death.
According to a report in a local daily, parents are now being forced to buy the drugs expensively from private pharmacies. Those who cannot afford have no option but to watch their children suffer without treatment.
The report further reveals that the problem started over two months ago. Parents who have been nursing their children at the hospital for the last one year said that the shortage started between July and August.
“The paediatric cancer wards at KNH no doubt are quiet places. There are roughly 200 children in the three cancer wards. Many of them come from poor, rural families. They do not have health insurance and cannot even afford to buy the drugs that are sold exorbitantly in chemists. The drugs and drips prescribed to the children include Vincristine, Doxorubicin, Metacapurine, Allopurinol, Cytoplastin and Cyclophosphamide,” says the report in the Daily Nation.
The paper spoke with Ms Carol Omondi who expressed fears that she might lose her daughter any time. Apparently, the doctor told her last month that the tumour in her child had grown and they needed to change the drugs, which she was required to buy.
“When they were admitted on July 3, the child was to get 12 cycles of chemotherapy, but they have only managed five since they do not have the money for the rest of the sessions,” the paper reported.
Ms. Omondi further said: “For the first two months, the treatment was smooth but the last two months, I have literally been struggling to make ends meet. It is very unfortunate, God forbid that I will lose my child because I can’t afford her treatment.”
Her child has lost her eyesight and cannot walk and she now depends on chemotherapy to survive. She is suffering from Neuroblastoma cancer, which can develop in the stomach, chest, neck, pelvis and bones. Children aged five or younger are the most affected.
Ms Omondi has now taken to the social media to look for well-wishers to help her buy the drugs. “Hello Kenyans, I am a mother of a four-year-old girl who is suffering from cancer (Neuroblastoma). I have to be with her at the hospital since her condition cannot allow me to do any work. A tumour has spread all over her body, including the brain and this has since interfered with her eyesight,” she wrote on Facebook.