Emmanuel Marenga (Manu), a survivor of kidney failure after a successful transplant donated by his sister, Jackline Musavi Marenga wants the government to do more;
Make anti-rejection drugs affordable or free!
I was shocked when he told me that the monthly costs for the medicine is fifty thousand Kenya shillings (Kshs. 50,000) equivalent to approximately 500 US dollars which definitely most will not afford and even after successful transplant, the stare at death will not stop if you do not fundraise for the medicine. This means most will still lose their lives ultimately
Manu felt something was wrong with his body at 10 years. His body was swelling; he had constant flu but was not diagnosed properly. His trips to the hospital were frequent and became longer. He jokingly says that at 10 years of age he knew every corner of the largest referral hospital in Kenya, Kenyatta National Hospital. He was later told that he had kidney failure and had to start on dialysis twice per week and strict diet, an experience he exclaims painful though relieving. At one time he went into a coma and when he woke up at the hospital bed he received saddest news that he had now lost both kidneys and only a transplant would save him.
Please God take me away! That was his prayer.
He felt a burden to the family and the community; he could not carry bathing water not even lift a glass of water to drink. His bones could no longer support him and neither could his teeth bite. He could no longer pass urine. His prayer to die was never to be answered when his sister donated her kidney and slowly the community started raising funds through events and contributions to raise Kshs. 700,000 needed for the transplant at Kenyatta National Hospital. The transplant was successful!
Manu is now stable, repairing cellphones for a living but one thing hits him and with self-pity; the kshs. 50,000 needed to buy the anti- rejection medicine (Myphortic 720mg and Tacrolimus 5mg)
“What of those who cannot raise the amount!?” He asks
For this I have asked Manu to volunteer and join #MajimajiKenyaTrust to champion this course together with the objectives;
- They be made affordable or free via government policy to save lives
- Raise awareness about Kidney diseases, treatment and the patients plight
- To raise funds to assist persons and families with kidney failure
By Julius Owino – Majimaji