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Reprieve for slum dwellers as German couple sets up hospital

20 January 2014, 14:32 Arap Yego

Bungoma - A section of residents of Mjini slums in the outskirts of Bungoma town, who previously had problems accessing adequate healthcare due to poverty, may soon get a reprieve after a German philanthropist, Hartwig Kaufmann and his wife who has Kenyan roots,  Aziza Kaufmann decided to set up a hospital in the area.

Construction work at the medical facility expected to cost millions of shillings, to cater for the poor people, and enable them access medical attention cheaply with relative ease, has already started.

Speaking on Saturday after donating an assortment of medical supplies to residents of Bumula that had been ravaged by jiggers, the philanthropist and his wife said they were touched by the plight of the poor residents of Mjini Slums when they first visited the area in 2011, prompting them to start a health institution which will be known as Nasike Memorial Hospital to offer medication at a cheap price.

“Construction work is ongoing and we are happy many sponsors back in Germany have already expressed willingness to make this noble project a success. We believe when it starts operations it will assist many people, especially the poverty stricken and those who find it hard to fend for themselves,”   Kaufmann told journalists.

The hospital which is located at the heart of Mjini slum will mostly cater for children and elderly people whom the society has neglected and who cannot afford to get good medication when they fall sick.

“Our partners will ensure that the ongoing construction is completed on time, maintenance is well and the needed support of the hospital in Bungoma is guaranteed,” said Kaufmann.

He  said that most of the best  available health facilities in the County are privately owned and charge high fees which has scared ill people away and therefore majority of them suffer in silence.

The available public health facilities in the County include; Bungoma County Referral Hospital, Webuye, Chwele, Sirisia, Kimilili and Kapsokwony Sub-district hospitals, while privately owned health institutions that serve the middle class and the affluent include ; Elgon View, Lumboka Memorial and St. Damiano.

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