Popular social and human rights activist Boniface Mwangi has made amends after he lost his cool at a city hospital where he had gone to seek treatment following an accident.
The ‘Unbounded’ author owned up to a viral video that showed him causing a scene at the Nairobi West Hospital on Sunday, August 21.
Mwangi explained the circumstances leading to his violent outburst, saying he had been involved in a car accident with his wife, Hellen Njeri, and a friend on Langata Road in Nairobi.
Boni and Njeri were passengers in the friend’s vehicle when they were hit by another motorist, who Boni says was speeding.
“In the early morning hours of August 21, 2022, my wife and I were involved in a road accident along Langata Road. We were passengers in a friend’s car when another motorist veered into our lane while speeding and hit our car, which flipped,” the activist wrote.
Worse still, the first people to respond to the scene robbed them of their valuables and personal effects.
“We landed upside down and the first people on the scene robbed us of our personal effects. Luckily, a good Samaritan couple, Eddu Rono and his wife, Koskey Yuniscah, came to our rescue and took us to a hospital,” Boniface continued.
It got even worse for Boni at the hospital after he was asked to pay a “deposit” before his wife could be attended to. He did what he does best, which is protesting, and unfortunately, his emotions got the better of him.
To be honest, any sane person would be forgiven to go berserk during such a critical and helpless situation. Remember, they had just been robbed. Like did the hospital management expect Boni to sell his kidney to them so he could pay or what?
Boni ended up causing some damage and he was ultimately arrested and taken to custody at Akila Police Station.
“The hospital wanted me to pay in order for my wife to get treatment but I had neither the money nor my wallet. Emergency health care is a right in the Constitution (Article 43(2)) and in my desperation to get the hospital management to attend to my wife beyond taking her vitals and giving her painkillers, I ended up raising my voice, breaking some things, and causing a scene,” he recounted.
Luckily, the activist has some solid friends who took care of the “hospital admission fee” so that Njeri could get the medical attention she desperately needed.
The friends also bailed Boniface out of police custody the following day.
Reflecting on the ordeal, Boni admitted he was wrong to react the way he did. He said he had apologised to the hospital staff and paid for the damages he caused which amounted to Sh106,000.
“My wife only got the medical attention she needed when my friend came to the hospital and paid the bill. My family and I are grateful that my wife did not suffer serious injuries. The hospital management called the police who arrested me,” Mwangi said.
“The actions that I took to get my wife medical attention were wrong and I apologized. I paid for all the damages that I had caused. The hospital costed the damaged items at KES 106,000.00, which l paid,” he continued.
“I reached out to the people who were working at the reception at the time of the incident and apologized to them,” Boni wrote.
He said his wife had since recovered and is back to work.
The outspoken activist nonetheless raised concerns about individuals who rob victims of car accidents.
Boniface Mwangi also pointed out what is wrong with Kenya’s Health Care System, where most hospitals require a patient to pay a cash deposit even in emergency situations.
“Why do hospitals require a deposit to administer emergency treatment? Does profit trump life? So many people have died and continue to die in hospital corridors because doctors will not touch them without a deposit. Do we value profit more than human life?” he posed.
As someone who has personally experienced this absurd policy, I can assertively say it is one of the worst things that could happen to anybody.
Boni’s post triggered thousands of comments from Kenyans, who shared similar stories of their tragic experiences at various health facilities in Kenya.
Clearly, this is an issue that needs immediate corrective surgery. Over to you, Dr. Ruto!