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Why NTV host Janet Kanini is mad at some Kenyan doctors

By HILARY KIMUYU October 30th, 2015 3 min read

NTV host Janet Kanini-Ikua has slammed some Kenyan doctors whom she accused of mishandling cancer patients, saying they have no place in our hospitals.

In a lengthy post on Facebook, she says a lot needs to be done to provide quality healthcare to the majority of Kenyans, not the minority who can afford to fly out abroad for specialized treatment.

She wrote: “Mum and I have met so many Africans who come to India for medical care – from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Liberia. People who were written off by their doctors back home, told that they would die or remain helpless. I have heard disturbing stories about Kenya that forced patients to come here.”

Kanini, who is undergoing chemotherapy for stage 4 lung cancer in an Indian hospital, gives an example of how a mother was told that she should prepare to bury her 5-month-old toddler by a pediatrician “who couldn’t even tell her to her face”.

“He was busy talking on his phone while looking at the baby,” she recalls. “Without speaking to her he then proceeded to walk out of the room and when she followed him she overheard him telling his students the negative news as he walked away.”

Kanini says the toddler that had been written off is now “alive and well seven years later” after his mother sought treatment in India.

“Such inhumane treatment is a story I am now getting to hear and read too, too many times from both people I know and strangers,” she says about the boy.

“When did Kenyans qualify to be treated as less than animals? When did the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors turn hypocritical? What I truly want to see from here onwards is not millions of Kenyans coming to India for treatment.”


She claims that some doctors refuse to treat patients once they return home. “Come on!” she quips. “These doctors give a bad impression of the many other Kenyan doctors who go out of their way, day after day, to save lives. I know these kind selfless doctors exist because I know some, and my late father.”

She continues: “What I want to see is doctors who aren’t afraid to admit that they can’t handle a case, again based on lack of equipment or prior expertise, and who can comfortably tell a patient to seek further treatment beyond borders. Currently so many doctors hate the word India, in fact some refuse to write a referral letter for their patients.”

Kanini was, however, all grateful to Kenyans who have been contributing to foot her medical bills in India.

On November 8, 2015, top Kenyan musicians and Kanini’s colleagues in the media industry will hold a family concert at the Carnivore to raise money towards her treatment in India where she is undergoing chemotherapy. You can assist by using the M-Pesa pay bill number 895790.

“Now we know that as Kenyans we are capable of helping each other financially without kuomba serikali,” she says.

“I am humbled by those who have donated even the little that they have and I encourage everyone to set aside 1, 5 or 10 shillings a day to support anyone in need of medical care – there are many cases highlighted in media and social media, not just cancer.”

She then gives an update of her condition. “What begins must end, so here I am back to full energy, applying some funny-smelling Amla hair oil that helps to prevent hair loss in cancer patients,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

“So if one day soon you see a Mama at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport digging into a flask of steaming githeri with a side dish of nyam chom and soup please understand. I salivate just thinking about it.” Kanini says she is currently eating for the sake of “creating a cushion in my stomach for drugs”.