It looked like a normal injection from a qualified medical officer, but it became an eye opener to the illegal business that has been taking place at an unregistered private health facility in Lugari Station in Lugari Sub-county, Kakamega County.
Joyce Kundu alias Sandra, a resident of Lugari Station, explains how she showed up at the Philomena Medical Services clinic on the night of December 25, 2021, looking for an injection after her asthma went wild.
She says she was received by Lucy Boke, a very familiar face at the facility, who has been attending to unsuspecting patients ever since the clinic started barely a year ago (according to Lucy).
This could be what gave Joyce the trust a patient needs from a medical officer.
“I visited the facility to be injected with hydrocote (hydrocortisone), but it wasn’t there. Lucy told me there is another one that works the same way, called adrenaline. She injected me with it, but I discovered later that she had applied it to a vein, which is not recommended. A few moments later, my body overreacted. I developed a severe asthmatic attack, my heartbeat went beyond normal and my blood pressure rose,” she said.
Joyce says Lucy discovered that she was overreacting to the injection and explained that her body weight was the cause.
“I didn’t understand what she meant that my 95 kg was the course of all this,” she said.
She continued to explain that she started feeling a more severe effect of the injection on December 27, 2021.
“I started feeling my body weakening. Even walking was a problem for me. I had to support myself on something for me to move,” she continued.
She sought the intervention of another medical officer, who told her that the injection wasn’t indeed the right one for her.
“I was told the injection even spared me. I would have been dead by now,” she said.
She was advised to go for an antidote, which she was given at Mediheal in Eldoret at a cost of Sh3,000.
What action did the facility take?
Joyce says the attendants at the facility were remorseful and willing to treat her and compensate her with Sh15,000. She turned the offer down, afraid that more harm would be inflicted.
“Up to that day we were negotiating, I had spent more than Sh25,000 on treatment. I was even recently admitted with an asthmatic attack, meaning the adrenaline injection did not work,” she said.
Joyce says she has spent Sh35,000 so far seeking medical intervention as a result of the injection.
What did Lucy Boke say?
Lucy Boke, the medic at the center of this story, was adamant about giving details on the accusations and claimed that there was no evidence to show that Joyce visited the facility on the day she claimed.
“Nothing shows that Joyce received the injection at this facility as she claims. The matter is in the hands of the authorities and it would be better if you waited until it is in court,” she said.
Joyce told us that she has a recording of Lucy admitting and apologizing for being ignorant that the injection would turn against her.
She shared the recording and it is evident that Lucy was apologizing for the mistake.
Who owns the facility?
We reached out to Lameck Onyango, who calls himself a “trained clinical officer.” He is the person who allegedly owns the facility.
Mr. Onyango stated that the clinic is documented under his license, but he is unaware of the existence of such a facility in Lugari under his name.
“I have never been to Lugari before. Yes, the clinic has been operating under my license, but I was not aware of the existence of such a facility. I have never met Lucy Boke. I was only introduced to her on the phone. Let her carry her own cross, ” he said.
We found Mr. Onyango’s blatant denial of his involvement in the saga suspicious because he could not explain why his license was being used to run an illegal business and his claim that he didn’t know Lucy was not genuine.
He also said he suspects Joyce of having bad intentions towards the facility, something that made us wonder how that was his concern when he had claimed that it was not his business.
What did the health authorities in Lugari say?
Mr. Patrick Kegode, an officer from the Ministry of Health in Lumakanda, to whom Joyce had reported the case, said investigations are ongoing and he would give a detailed report next week.
“The only thing I have done is to close down the facility. I am not even aware of the date the clinic started operating. I discovered it the same day I received a complaint (from Joyce).
Lugari Sub-county MoH Evans Makokha said his office is taking care of Joyce’s case.
“However, this facility (Philomena) is not registered in Lugari. I think it is an illegal mushrooming facility…I talked to the public health team. They served the closure notice to the facility… I learned about it two weeks ago and we acted on it, ” he said.
He added that the matter would be taken to the police and those involved charged.
Thanks for choosing WKT. Advertise with us for affordable offers.