NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 8 – A Kenyan family is protesting what appears to be outright discrimination by hospitals in China which allegedly declined to treat their daughter, leading to her death.
Maureen Mayieka, a 37 year-old business woman, travelled to China on February 21 on a business trip and fell ill three days later but could not access medical treatment in three different hospitals in Guangzhou.
She was involved in the catering business in Kenya.
“Our sister had travelled to China on a business trip and she fell ill. A friend she was with said she started shivering and when she tried to get medical attention, three hospitals declined to treat her because it was at night,” her brother, Ndemo Mayieka, told journalists soon after the body arrived in Kenya on Thursday.
Maureen was a niece to former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae and Information Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo.
“We are told the hospitals kept telling her to come back the following morning,” her brother said.
“In the morning, she again began to shiver and the friend she was with decided to go and get a doctor but by the time they came back she had already passed away,” he added.
He said after Maureen passed away, Chinese authorities did not cooperate with her friend so that the body could be taken to the mortuary.
“In fact, police even almost arrested the friend she was with. I have never heard anything like this anywhere in the world, it is just ridiculous,” he added.
Maureen was to spend a week in China and return to Nairobi last Monday.
Emotions ran high at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and at the Montezuma and Monalisa funeral home when the body arrived in Nairobi.
Maurren’s sister Esther Mayieka protested at the manner in which the body was preserved and shipped, despite the exorbitant fees paid to have it conserved properly.
“I have looked at the body and I am just shocked, it is just in a box with a cotton cloth covering her; you can only see some herbs, they did not even preserve the body properly yet they charged exorbitantly,” Esther said after viewing the body before it was preserved at the mortuary in Nairobi.
The family said it intends to lodge a formal complaint with the Chinese government through the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Nairobi.