Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kenya birth and hospital hostages

Given that my wife, Natalie, is about to pop out (well, she hopes it will be that easy) our first kid in a Nairobi hospital, I found this article from Edmund Sanders at the LA Times particularly pertinent.

Sanders talks to several woman who were held captive in Kenyan hospitals when they failed to pay their bills for giving birth. Horrible, yes, but not surprising given that public services, and not just healthcare, are dire in Kenya while ministers and MPs live the high life.

If ever a town demonstrated the worst elements of rampant capitalism and its every-man-for-themselves attitude, it is Nairobi.

We are fortunate not to be in the same position as those poor women, although I may find myself lowering Nats out of a toilet window and smuggling the baby out in a plastic bag if any of the additional items on the hospital's a-la-carte birth menu (c-section, episiotomy, vacuum removal, drugs to revive fainted husband) need to be purchased.

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