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Tuesday-Unsavory threats and close call with politics

March 24, 2011

The newspaper caption reads "Threatened: Surgeons perform an operation at Moi Referral Hospital in Eldoret."

Wow–this day was certainly eventful and not necessarily in a good way. The hospital recently underwent a change of directors. The former director was seated for 10 or 14 years. I can’t remember the specifics. However, he was recently forced to resign by either the current interim director or the new second in command. The rumor is that the former director had to move on due to “accounting irregularities” discovered by the new regime. So needless to say the rancor was high. This is compounded by the tribal tensions that exist in Kenya. The two parties involved are from different tribes. If you want to understand these problems in more depth, you can google 2008 Kenya election violence and read more about some of the issues.

So on Tuesday, a typed sheet containing numerous threats towards the current director and 2nd in command was slipped under every faculty door at MTRH. The threats were so repugnant that I didn’t bother to copy the form. It consisted of threats of public circumcision, killing of relatives, burning of homes, allegations of corruption, infidelity and the list goes on and on. The paper basically threatened severe violence towards the new leaders and their extended families. It was so bad that the Nairobi Star published this linked article with the picture above. I guess that’s why I’ve seen a lot more security in camouflage uniforms at the hospital.

You can imagine my surprise, when one of the Purdue pharmacy faculty told me that he saw this article in the Nairobi Star, and that he thought that Matthews and I were in the photo for the story! Needless to say I went right to the Net to find this article. Fortunately, the Star is now an online paper as well. I was relieved to see that the pictures is actually of the Egyptian plastic surgeon on staff here at MTRH. I think it’s on older picture since the person thought to be me was wearing loops and is likely some visiting mzungu surgeon from a previous visit.

I think that’s about as close to Kenyan hospital/tribal politics as I want to get. I’m grateful that is wasn’t Matthews and me.

 

 

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Teyen permalink
    April 11, 2011 4:42 pm

    That “mzungo” wearing Loupes was me putting in a kidney with Pescovitz.

    • Aaron permalink*
      April 12, 2011 1:18 am

      Ah ha…so you’re the problem child 🙂

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