Dennis Wekesa Mulongo, 34, has been in and out of hospital since 2020. The first sign of illness came when he started vomiting blood and developed severe body weakness and serious spells of dizziness. He has been to different hospitals.
The debilitating effects of his illness and sudden attacks demand that he gets supervised medical attention. This simply means long stays in the hospital.
“I am in hospital most of the time. I have been admitted for up to four months. It has been a long, painful journey. Doctors have tried everything to cure my ailment. I have undergone several medical tests to establish the cause of my condition,” Mulongo says.
He adds: “My problem was finally diagnosed at Hopkins Crescent Hospital. I believe it is because of the modern machines that my problem was finally discovered. I am on treatment now.”
“In some of the hospitals, they only tested for malaria and blood pressure because they lacked equipment. Doctors say I have an internal wound that leaks blood. I am on medication which has alleviated the pain and discomfort.”
Mulongo looks frail as he sits in his hospital bed with tubes from his body attached to a diagnostic machine on the wall beside his bed. He is optimistic that he will recover soon. “The level of care I get at this facility is reassuring,” he says.
Dr Kennedy Osano, who has been treating Mulongo, says the patient is suffering from a condition known as gastric pathology.
He said: “It is a chronic condition that we manage through palliative care. We are able to control the vomiting. We have a machine that monitors his blood pressure and sugar levels. Whenever the sugar level drops below safe levels, we administer blood transfusion.”
Mulongo cannot retain solid food because of the wound in his stomach. “We have put him on nutritional supplements. Solid food makes it worse and often results in constipation. It is a delicate situation that calls for multidisciplinary care,” says Dr Ombonye Omweri.
Hopkins Crescent Hospital and other private medical facilities have taken advantage of gaps in healthcare to provide good quality and affordable healthcare in rural areas.
The World Bank says; “the private sector has an important role to play in closing the healthcare gap, as it contributes financial resources, innovation, and expertise.”
“We give alternative and affordable health care that draws in clients. We used to treat 85 patients a day. This number has gone up to 105,” said Omweri who was flanked by his wife Dr Wachera Ombonye.
Lydia Wekesa, a paramedic with the Kenya Red Cross E-plus, says; “I was 32 weeks pregnant in 2021 and suffering from high Blood pressure when my waters broke, which is unusual. Ideally, the water should break at 37 to 40 weeks. So, when I went into labour, it was obvious I needed specialised care to make sure my baby and I survive any possible complications.”
Wekesa adds: “Bungoma referral hospital has facilities, but is overstretched. So I chose Hopkins Crescent and it was a good decision. I delivered my baby through CS, which ended very well.”