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The Telescope


If you have ever been put on anaesthesia, then you know you must take a leap of faith, that all will turn out well. When you are knocked out for an operation, you have no choice but to trust your doctor, completely.

Yet a disturbing revelation of unethical practices by a self-proclaimed gynaecologist has betrayed our trust in the medical profession. The incident, clearly edges on inappropriate conduct exposed rather disgusting and scandalous behaviour of one Mugo wa Wairimu, now in custody. His misconduct has in more ways than one threatened to put to question the ethical foundation of the profession.

The revelation that has got tongues wagging on the little discussed topic reveals a female patient, under anaesthetic, being sexually abused by the quack. Unethical behaviour exist in various sectors, driven by self interest often disguised under a facade of client concern. The prevalence of inappropriate actions in healthcare will drive additional margins in various downloadcritical sectors in the country.

Today, there are many parallels to the situation with some workers’ action increasingly questionable. It is also not lost to the government that doctors and teachers currently on strike, are airing their displeasure in their remunerations and working environment.

Though their industrial action is not unprecedented and the prevailing mood is an unjust war and an economic crisis, urgent action should be taken to amicably address this matter.Such occasions only highlight the root of our moral decay and our healthcare crisis based on an ingrained acceptance of unethical behaviour.

Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality” unfortunately when there is nothing to secure such incidences tend to happen — Albert Schweitzer

The recent exposé points towards transparency and quality reporting, shining light on some of these practices and should tone down the environment of opportunism.

It is also timely that a review is done and constant monitoring is carried out on health facilities operating illegally.

Relevant bodies should also keenly address threats to healthcare core values, especially those stemming from abuse of power. Advocating for accountability, integrity, transparency, honesty and ethics in leadership and governance of healthcare is equally crucial.

Bottom line: the trust a patient has in their doctor to have their best interest at heart must not be compromised. It is saddening, that the rot in the medical fraternity could be widespread. The government, through the Ministry of Health, has a daunting task of streamlining operations to stem out rogue practitioners out to taint the image of the medical profession.

Finally, a thin line cuts across personal and professional ethics and as Albert Schweitzer says, “Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality. Unfortunately when there is nothing to secure such incidences tend to happen”.

This article was published on the People Weekend on September 12-13,2015

The Telescope


Besides the country’s diverse and captivating safari tours and the recent economic boost in investment nothing makes as much international attention as our runners.

So far, the country has gone on to produce 79 Olympic track and field medallists with zero from the field side of the equation. But Julius Yego could end that streak soon in the upcoming Olympics in Rio.

Worldwide Yego is now a favourite in the javelin after winning gold at the world championships in Beijing following a jolting throw of 92.72 meters breaking the African record by throwing the third furthest distance ever and the longest effort in the last 14 years!This makes for a season best for the YouTube trained star.

A successful field athlete from a country that produces mainly track stars, Yego has had to take an unorthodox path to the top.

The 26-year-old has on several occasions professed that he does not have a coach, and has learnt how to throw the javelin by watching YouTube video of the sport’s greats citing that his motivation comes from within.

Yego’s success has undoubtedly shown the world the power of the internet it goes above and beyond sports. He has flung open the door of possibility not just in sports but in all sectors of society.julius-yego

Today, Yego is ripping success but away from the glitz and glamour is a man whose stood true to his commitment and consistently sought out to be the best at his skill to achieve his dream.

Like him, behind the success that sees the public extol Usain Bolt’s speed, Michael Phelps’ dominance, Serena Williams’ court savvy or Ezekiel Kemboi’s surge of resilience on the track, is a series of pushed limits in the human ability so as to rise above their competitors. A strapping yet sore desire to achieve what no one before them has ever accomplished.

Behind the victory are endless hours of sacrifice and training.None of the great sports personalities is endowed with a special recipe of DNA that destines them to greatness.

In the wake of such success there is need for extra emphasis on the philosophy behind having rules against performance enhancement substances.

Government should address doping lest it taints Kenyan reputation and teams morale in consequent championship games

The general idea is, if the substance is natural, then it is legal and illegal if its synthetic and enhance performance, meaning sports relies on agreed upon core values and one of those is that you bring to the sport what you came in with, through natural talent and training.

It is then unfortunate that in the recent past a few of our Kenyan athletes have undermined the countries great reputation and spirit by testing positive for doping. For obvious reasons the government should address this unbecoming trend  immediately lest it taints our Kenyan athletes’ reputation and morale in consequent championship games.

According to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), a sports body responsible for determining which substances are banned, athletes found to have used banned substances, through a positive drugs test, are banned from competition for a specified period.

Athletes found to have banned substances in their possession, or who tamper with or refuse to submit to drug testing can also be deregistered from the sport.

Short competitive bans are also given to athletes who test positive for prohibited recreational drugs or minor stimulants which enhance performance.

This article was published on People Weekend on 29-30,August 2015

The Telescope


You’ve probably received various graphic images doing rounds on social media every so often of young Kenyan women working in one of the Arab countries living under squalid conditions and being mistreated. The lucky ones make it back home to tell the harrowing tales in pursuit of greener pastures.

Although it is rarely highlighted, slavery stubbornly persists throughout the world .This is rather unfortunate considering that the right of freedom from slavery is a fundamental human right and no set of circumstances can override or qualify an individual’s right to be free of slavery in the Kenyan Law and even in the European Convention on Human Rights but fact is many have been denied this vital privilege.

It is also not lost to many that its among the female gender that slavery is most hard hitting. Women carry a triple burden in addition to enduring the harsh conditions of forced labour, extreme forms of discrimination and exploitation as a result.

This year the United Nations commemorated the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade under the theme, “Women and Slavery” paid tribute to the many enslaved women who endured unbearable hardships, including sexual exploitation, as well as those who fought for freedom from slavery and advocated for its abolition.

The theme which notably recognised the strength of enslaved women even after encountering abject abuse and neglect registered the need for a worldwide concern which has severally been placed at the peripheries of urgent interests called for ultimate address to this global predicament.

Lured by the promise of well-paid work and a chance to escape joblessness at home so as to send the much needed remittances to their families every year the risk of dismal misfortunes continue bedevilling Kenyan women seeking better life abroad left at the mercies of reigning illegal and unscrupulous recruitment agencies playing slave merchants. Many girls end up reported dead under mysterious circumstances while hundreds of others remain detained by agencies that abandon them in foreign countries.5310018381_ecdefcd613_b

Even with this reports agencies atrociously persist in minting millions through human trafficking and modern day slavery in broad day light through impunity issuance of thousands of passports monthly to unsuspecting poor girls being exported as slave-maids; all these happening under the governments watch.

Failure of the Kenyan Government to defend its citizens in and beyond its borders in taking concrete action against unscrupulous agents of slavery and death continues to be a big let down to Kenyans. The Government ought to step up and address these veiled acts of shame; lift fellow deserving Kenyans in the country or abroad out of harm’s way and put them on a path toward empowerment, financial stability and self reliance. It could start by creating solid job opportunities for the youth.

It is also a dishonour on Kenyans part for engaging in such life threatening conditions even after hearing of heartbreaking accounts from others who have gone to such countries and luckily survived terrible ordeals and still be willing to endanger their lives by accepting to be shipped to Middle east.

Unfortunately by the time you finish this last sentence another Kenyan is elatedly boarding a flight bound for the Middle East ignorant to the vast possibility of telling the same sad story.

It is my belief that the situation will change and employment agencies that do not meet government’s regulations be dealt with immediately to save lives. Let us all work together to end modern- day slavery.

This article was published on People Weekend on 15-16,August 2015