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Family in desperation as efforts to bring back kin from the Gulf seem futile

A Murang’a family is in agony as efforts to bring back their kin who has been admitted in a Saudi Arabian hospital for several weeks seems futile.

According to members of the family, their kin Lucy Wambui has spent more than three weeks in a hospital suffering from an ailment, which they claim they are not aware of.

Her mother, Margret Njoki, who hails from Kambirwa village, told KNA that her daughter left the country in May this year to seek employment in Saudi Arabia but she fell sick towards the end of November.

Njoki decried that efforts to repatriate her daughter to receive treatment in Kenya have proven futile since her employer is not ready to release her.

She narrated that the employer claims that she paid Sh. 660,000 to acquire Wambui through an agent and that she is still owed Sh. 450,000 after deductions of the five months she has worked for them.

“We are very concerned because if they are demanding compensation, we don’t know if they will ask us to pay for the hospital bill too,” Lamented Njoki.

A cousin to Wambui, Sarah Njeri said that she had been in contact with her when she fell sick.

Njeri said her cousin was taken to hospital after family members sought help at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Nairobi.

“Last month, Wambui informed me that she was sick but the employer was not willing to take her to hospital. The employer later took her to the health facility where she is currently admitted after the Saudi Arabian embassy intervened,” narrated Njeri.

She further said that her cousin was for some days admitted in ICU adding that after a CT scan was done, doctors claimed they could not find what she was suffering from.

“On Wednesday, last week, we were informed that she had regained consciousness and had been taken off the ICU,” said Njeri.

She said the employer has not yet informed them the name of the hospital Wambui is admitted in or revealed the ailment she is suffering from.

“She had informed us that she has issues with her digestive system and that her colon is inflamed but the last message we received from the employer is that she is having breathing issues,” she noted.

According to Njeri, Wambui has been of poor health since she went to Saudi Arabia and her family and friends are now pleading for help to have her repatriated so that they can care for her at home.

She said the employer has been demanding to be compensated the amount they paid for her before they can allow her to leave.

One of Wambui’s aunt, Joyce Njeri, said the family has been grief stricken with the news of her severe illness and is happy that she is improving.

She observed that Saudi Arabia is a far-off country and they have no ability to help her, calling relevant government agencies to help in repatriating their kin back to the country.

“We humbly appeal to the government to help us bring our sick daughter back to the country so that we can take care of her,” she said, adding that without the intervention of the government, Wambui will most likely be forced to continue working despite her poor health.

By Bernard Munyao and Purity Mugo


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